Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany has predicted there will be a three-way battle for the Premier League title this season.
Chelsea, who are currently three points clear at the top of the table following their 1-1 draw at the Etihad on Sunday, are odds-on favourites to win the title with champions City around the 3/1 mark.
But Kompany believes Arsenal, who are one point better off than City after five games and four points off top spot, are ready to make it a scrap at the summit despite being rated 9/1 chances by most bookmakers.
“It is not fair to call it at the moment,” said Kompany.
“First of all we are not even close to Chelsea yet (in the table). Secondly, I have seen good things from Chelsea but I have seen maybe better things from Arsenal so I guess it will all be about consistency and, with the Champions League, it will get messy around December.
“It is too early to call. Five points is nothing but Chelsea have five points more than us, it is as simple as that.
“But it will get messy in December and January as it always does – or at least the last six years I have been here it has.”
Kompany partnered debutant Eliaquim Mangala in the heart of the City defence against Chelsea and was impressed by the £32million Frenchman’s performance.
“He was tremendous. I don’t think he’s played for five months,” said Kompany.
“I think it is up to him how good he could be but it looks like he is eager to progress, which is important at his age (23) as he is still young.
“Obviously you can see he has all the basics to be more than a good defender. He will need some time, like everyone else, and with time he will improve. Going by this performance you will be looking forward to what he can achieve.”
As for his own display, where he at times dominated in-form Chelsea striker Diego Costa, the City skipper added: “I loved it. I live for those moments.
“People who know me know I want nothing else than to play against the big strikers week in, week out and I enjoyed every minute of it.”