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Mourinho returns to Stamford Bridge

50-50 Challenge

Redknapp: Spurs can challenge for title

Harry Redknapp has warned early Premier League pacesetters Manchester City and Manchester United that they face more than just a two-horse race for the title this season.

• Harry happy with return to dugout

A first-half double from Emmanuel Adebayor helped Spurs beat Aston Villa 2-0 on Monday night, in what was the North Londoners' eighth victory in nine games after initially beginning the campaign with successive defeats against United and City.

The result moved Tottenham into third place in the Premier League table, four points behind second-placed United but with a game in hand over the reigning champions.

Redknapp believes the quality of the teams behind United and City means it is not a foregone conclusion that one of the Manchester clubs will win the title this season.

And the former West Ham and Portsmouth manager reckons that if his side maintain their excellent form there is no reason they, too, cannot be in the title mix come next May - though he admitted pipping City and United to the post to bring a first league title to White Hart Lane in more than half a century "will be very difficult".

"It is a possibility, it is not impossible," he said. "I don't want to say that we are going to win the league as everyone will get carried away. But it is not impossible for Liverpool or anyone. If you believe in yourself and keep winning games, you are going to do it.

"Man United won it last season as everyone fell over themselves. Everyone threw games away. I fancied Arsenal to win the league with nine games to go. We are on a real good run and, if we continue the form that we are in now, we will win the league, although that will be very difficult."

Roberto Mancini's City side have drawn most of the plaudits so far this season, but Redknapp insists they are "not on a different planet to everyone else", predicting that the current league leaders will not go through the whole season undefeated.

"You saw them at QPR and QPR could have beaten them [City]," Redknapp said. "Man City did very little and came away with a victory. I would not say that they are on a different planet to everyone else. They had a great result at Man United and here against us. They will not go through the season unbeaten. I don't think they are that good. They are a very good team and worthy favourites, they are above Man United at the moment but I would not say that they are certainties to win the league.

"The top six is so tight. I don't think there's a lot between us. It's going to be very close. We've just got to keep it going. City beat us by five but that wouldn't happen again. We're a much different team to the one we put out that day."

A major factor in any potential Tottenham title challenge is likely to be the form of star playmaker Luka Modric, who has sparkled so far this season.

And after watching him impress again against Villa, Redknapp says he is keen to tie down the Croatian to a new contract, having resisted overtures from Chelsea for one of his prized assets over the summer.

"I'm sure the chairman will do a new deal and look after him. Hopefully that will happen,'' Redknapp said. "You've got to look after him, he's a top, top player. If he's worth £40 million, then he must be worth decent wages. He has to be on good money because he's a fantastic player.''


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