Gary Neville is convinced Chelsea can be a serious candidate to win the title and the Manchester United legend, now a Sky Sports pundit, explains why:
“The very, very top teams make the fewest mistakes, and that was a team performance today (Sunday) of no mistakes.
“That clean sheet mentality has definitely been forced into them. It’s a way of being, it builds so much confidence. When the goalkeeper and defenders are happy, when they are comfortable and relaxed, the crowd aren’t getting anxious.
“I’m seeing Chelsea players do the right things, staying with their runners, and they’ve got two very, very good central midfield players from a defensive point of view, they’ve got a wonderful ability to read the game and fill in the gaps.
“Are they the finished article? Probably not, but I wouldn’t rule them out of the title, because I don’t trust the others enough to think that Chelsea can’t win it.
Not playing in the European competitions can be an advantage for the Blues:
“I think the fact that Chelsea have free weeks, and don’t have the confusion and disruption of European football, even though it is a good disruption being in the Champions League or Europa League, it gives them a big advantage.
“Certain players in their team – like John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic, Diego Costa, even Eden Hazard and Nemanja Matic – I think they all benefit hugely from it.
“They would have been in that dressing room after the game, having put in a wonderful performance, and be thinking: ‘I’ve got a week now, I can get my body right, have a massage and not think about training on Tuesday ahead of another midweek game.’
“It’s a big thing for players of that nature, so I think that gives them a competitive edge, and Liverpool the same, who have players who give huge energetic performances. Their recovery between games is important.
WIt will be an advantage. I think Tottenham are as good as Liverpool, I think Tottenham are as good as Chelsea, there’s no doubt, but because Spurs are in European competition I would put Chelsea and Liverpool ahead of them in the Premier League for that reason.
“I think Manchester City and Arsenal are the better teams, but can you trust either of them fully yet? I don’t think you can. That’s not to say they won’t go and deliver, but because they’re in Europe, and that they’ve shown glimpses of the old Arsenal and old City, they’ve got to give me more yet before I trust them.
“That’s without even mentioning United, who have fallen behind a little bit.”