Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is certain Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea will be a threat in the Premier League title race.
Mourinho is under pressure after leading his team to just three wins from their opening 10 league games.
The Portuguese tactician’s men are already 11 points behind leaders City ahead of Saturday’s clash at home to Liverpool.
Despite that, Pellegrini backed Mourinho to turn Chelsea’s fortunes around.
“All managers have a moment in their career, in their season, a bad moment,” he said.
“It’s normal, but I hope, because he [Mourinho] is a very important manager, that he will arrange his team.
“I think he has already demonstrated what he can do. He’s the champion of the Premier League this year.
“I always say mathematics show when you can do it and when you can’t and I am sure Chelsea will be involved in the title race or for the first position.
“They will continue to be a very strong team. They are not in their best moment, but I am sure they will improve.”
Chelsea claimed the title last season by a convincing eight points ahead of City after losing just three games.
Pellegrini said it was difficult to go back-to-back, with Manchester United the last team to do so in 2007-08 and 08-09.
“It’s difficult to say why,” he said.
“Maybe some relax, you don’t want it to happen, but it normally does. It is difficult to repeat it.
“All the other teams who couldn’t win it last season become stronger because they don’t want to go two years without winning silverware.
“But the most important thing is that you have five very strong teams here in England and they can all win the Premier League title.”