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AVB: Premier League ruled by 'big three'

After an era of 'big fours' and 'Champions League sixes', Andre Villas-Boas believes that the new elite in the Premier League only comprises three teams: Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea.

• Preview: Arsenal v Tottenham
• Blog: Arsenal no longer have run
• Darke: November table tells truth

Moreover, the Portuguese has admitted that he has had to re-assess his targets for the season, while insisting that this weekend's North London derby will not be decisive in the race for fourth place.

Having arrived at White Hart Lane talking about how the club should be regularly challenging for the title, Villas-Boas was speaking in more reticent terms on Thursday, conceding that there is no significant split among the top few teams in the league.

Finance, meanwhile, has dictated that teams like Arsenal have fallen out of the top end.

"At the moment we have to understand that there are three clubs doing particularly well. [Manchester] City are still unbeaten, Chelsea were showing signs of great form but not recently. It's still completely open. It's difficult for the title.

"It's better that it's three at the top as they are in the competition and can lose more points and hopefully we can shorten the gap a bit to third and second spot.

"At the moment, there is a big, big gap but I compare it to last year when Man City escaped in the beginning and then were found on the final day of the season for the title decider. So I think there are still possibilities for the teams below them to shorten the gap a bit more.

"I don't think [Saturday] decides anything. It's still early in the season. Last year we won at home, lost away and it is important for teams to be steady and gather the most amount of points. It would have been important for Arsenal to win against Fulham, it would have been important for us to win against Wigan.

"These are the situations where you punish yourself a little bit more for not being able to get the results. In games like this anything can happen but I don't think it will be decisive in what both teams can achieve."

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