Spanish fans participating in a poll conducted by renowned newspaper Marca have had their say on the likely winner of this season’s Premier League title.
In a surprise twist, last season’s winners Manchester City were only voted in fourth place – somewhat contradicting the recent views of boss Manuel Pelligrini who believes they should be favourites.
As it was, with 42.5% of the votes Chelsea were voted the Spaniards' favourites with Manchester United (20.5%) and Arsenal (15.3%) placed in second and third respectively
A possible reasoning behind the votes is the Madrid-based newspaper receiving a number of votes from supporters of the city’s two big clubs – Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.
This summer, Chelsea prised away three of Atletico’s leading stars in goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois who returned from a loan spell, defender Filipe Luis and goalscorer Diego Costa.
The latter was the main man for Los Colchoneros last season, hitting 36 goals in 52 appearances throughout the season and helping the club claim its first La Liga title since 1995.
Should he click for the Blues this season, with the number of top stars performing to the best of their abilities under former Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho, it’s easy to see why they’re favourites.
The Red Devils came out in second place, presumably helped by the masterful display of boss Van Gaal during Holland's World Cup campaign which included a 5-1 thrashing of the Spanish – a result which will live long in the memory of the former World champions.
The likes of Ander Herrera, Juan Mata and David de Gea also make up United's Spanish contingent who are expected to perform well at Old Trafford this season.
Arsenal came out in third, though this could have been quite different had the club managed to secure a deal for long-term target Sami Khedria of Real Madrid.
Nonetheless, the Gunners have done well in bringing in former Barcelona star Alexis Sanchez, and the Catalans' purchase of Uruguayan superstar Luis Suarez from Liverpool may have swayed the general opinion that the Reds are to miss out on a spot in the Champions League places.
Here are the official results:
Manchester United 20.5%
Manchester City 10.3%
Another team 1.1%