Six Premier League clubs will be in contention for the coveted crown this season, according to Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, who considers his own team capable of launching a significant two-fronted offensive in the English division and in the Champions League after discounting the Blues from finishing first last term.
With regards to Europe, Mourinho highlighted that Chelsea managed to return a semifinal finish despite enduring a "transitional" phase. The Portuguese coach has attempted to remedy that by adopting an aggressive recruitment strategy throughout the summer transfer window in a period that has already seen the West London club sign left back Filipe Luis, creative midfielder Francesc Fabregas and predatory striker Diego Costa.
On their ambitions this year, he said: "We are playing to win the competition."
Mourinho continued on their intended domestic assault: "People can speak about other leagues but England is the only country where five or six teams can win the title. Football is about competitiveness every weekend and that only happens in the Premier League.
"When you have the two Manchester clubs, the three clubs from London – Tottenham, Arsenal and ourselves – plus Liverpool, that's six top teams, where all of them can win the title. That's why everybody loves the Premier League.
"At Chelsea, if we didn't think we could win the league, or didn’t think we had the quality to do it, we wouldn't be here working so hard. We respect our opponents and their ambitions, because they have the same ambitions as us, but we want to win the Premier League and we are ready for that."
Is Mourinho correct, though?
Tottenham Hotspur proved last year that they are some way off challenging, let alone winning, the Premier League title - and they are yet to make the necessary signings that will help that ambition.
While Manchester United have been active in the market, they are still extremely light on quality centre back options and even Liverpool, who placed second last term, have been weakened due to the sale of Luis Suarez.
Currently, there are two banks of three top teams in England - the challengers: Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal; and then the fighters for the last Champions League qualifying spot: Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.