Chelsea are real title contenders, insists Sir Alex

Manchester United boss wary of the "lurking" threat posed by Andre Villas-Boas's side this season

sir alex ferguson
Ferguson guided United to a record 19th league title last term Photo: The Sport Review

sir alex ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson believes Chelsea will be serious contenders for the Premier League title despite both Manchester clubs enjoying flying starts to the season.

United and City both have 100 per cent records from their first four top flight games, with the Blues two points behind in the table having drawn their opening fixture at Stoke City.

But Ferguson, whose side host Chelsea at Old Trafford on Sunday, is wary of Andre Villas-Boas’s side threat to United’s hunt for a 20th league title.

“Chelsea will be there at the end of the season,” Ferguson said. “The Manchester teams are enjoying the publicity but Chelsea are lurking and will enjoy not being in the spotlight.”

The United manager also believes Villas-Boas has made a “good start” to his reign at Stamford Bridge since taking charge in July.

Ferguson drew comparisons between the 33-year-old Portuguese manager, who led Porto to three trophies last season, and his own arrival at Old Trafford in 1986.

“There are similarities to the time when I came down from Aberdeen,” he said. “I had achieved some things at Aberdeen. That helped me.

“It is the same for Villas-Boas. He won the double last year with Porto and also the Europa League. That achievement will stand him in good stead in terms of the start to his tenure at Chelsea.

“After that, the impression the players will get from him, in terms of his knowledge of the game and his man-management skills, is all in the future. He has had a good start though.”

Looking ahead to Sunday’s showdown at Old Trafford, Ferguson added: “It will be a fantastic game. The games between both sides over the last seven years have been very close affairs. There is usually just one goal in it and it will be very tight on Sunday again.”

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