Michael Carrick is confident that Manchester United will push Chelsea all the way this season - and tipped former club Tottenham to break into the top four.
Chelsea currently hold a five-point lead at the top of the Premier League and, after beating Liverpool, United and Arsenal, many believe they will finally reclaim the title this year. But while Carrick admits Chelsea have been impressive so far, he believes United could have the edge over the course of the season.
"The players they have are powerful and strong," he told the Evening Standard. "They are playing well and getting results.
"We still believe it will be very close and, if we are playing well and get a good run-in, we can finish on top in the end."
While the title is starting to look like a two-horse race, the battle to finish in the top four appears far more open as the likes of Manchester City and Tottenham look to have squads capable of securing Champions League qualification.
And Carrick, who played for Spurs when they missed out fourth place on the final day of the 2005-06 season as several players went down with a virus, believes Harry Redknapp can finally lead the team into the competition this year.
"This season has been the most unpredictable for a long while," he said. "Manchester City, Aston Villa and Tottenham are looking to be pushing up there and, at the moment, Tottenham look as strong as anyone.
"To be honest, the squad [Redknapp] had when he arrived was a good squad. He has obviously given the lads a lot of confidence and he has improved it again by bringing in his own men."