Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas believes this season’s Premier League title race is set to be the closest in recent memory, but he would not be drawn on suggestions that his side could finish the season as champions.
Villas-Boas was eager to promote the notion that Tottenham could finish the weekend at the top of the table, as he predicted Arsenal "may slip up" when they travel to Swansea on Saturday evening.
Yet he was also doing his best to dampen down expectations ahead of Saturday’s intriguing clash against his former mentor Jose Mourinho and his ex-club Chelsea, as he faced the media at Tottenham’s Enfield training base.
"I’m not sure if this game will have a great, great impact on the classification at the end of the season," Villas-Boas said. "We want to do well against a team that won the European Cup two years ago, won the Europa League that we wanted so much last season. This is the kind of game that you can measure the kind of challenges you might have.
"What is happening to us now puts us in a positive mood and we have to collect as many points as possible based on the positive mood we are developing, but it can change very, very quickly.
"At the moment we are on a good run, but there are no clubs on maximum points and this year will be very tight at the top. United are struggling for points, but they have played all the top team at the beginning of the season. This will probably become the tightest Premier League in years.
"It’s important for everybody (to win this game). It would be extremely good to build on our positive start, especially against a good team.
"Arsenal have a difficult game at Swansea and maybe you can expect a slip-up, but we also have to get our points to try and go top."
Villas-Boas expects Danny Rose to be fit for the game against Chelsea, but he confirmed that defender Younes Kaboul and midfielder Etienne Capoue will not be available for the game at White Hart Lane.
Capoue is not expected to return until after next month’s international break as he continues to recover from the knee injury he sustained at Arsenal earlier this month.