Man City boss Pep Guardiola believes it will be another gruelling Premier League title battle this season but was full of praise for one rival in particular.
The reigning champions currently sit top of the standings after nine games after collecting 23 points with seven wins and two draws.
Liverpool have emerged as their biggest challengers thus far as they are level at the top, while Chelsea and Arsenal have impressed under Maurizio Sarri and Unai Emery respectively so far this season.
Tottenham sit level on 21 points with those two sides, and so it sets up what should potentially be a fascinating title battle.
However, it seems as though perhaps Man Utd are being cut out of that picture for the time being, as with Jose Mourinho’s men in 10th place and nine points off top spot, the talk with Guardiola in his interview was about a five team battle.
“I don’t have a doubt about that. There is just two points difference in four, five, six teams so it means they are also strong,” he told Sky Sports when asked about the five-horse race.
While that was a possible snub of United, and rightly so for now at least as the Red Devils look nowhere near being capable of consistently getting results to be in the mix, Guardiola clearly has plenty of time for Tottenham and Mauricio Pochettino based on his comments below.
“I said [that] from the first year. It was my first defeat here and I realised how strong they are,” he added.
“They are one of the teams I like the most to watch. I learn when I watch them. A lot of international players. They are the basis of the English national team.”
Pochettino will undoubtedly appreciate those words, but he’ll be hoping to inflict a setback on Guardiola and his men on Monday night when they two sides clash at Wembley.