Pep Guardiola thinks Manchester United are still in the title race 6 months ago

Pep Guardiola thinks Manchester United are still in the title race

So, it's a five horse race?

How many teams are competing for the Premier League title this season? Two? Three? Four is surely the limit.

Liverpool and Manchester City are obviously the strongest contenders, but perennial almost-achievers Tottenham remain in the picture, just two points behind reigning champions City.

Nobody really gives Tottenham any real chance of winning the title, though, do they? Except for Pep Guardiola, who believes as many as five teams will be competing for this season's crown - including Manchester United.

Speaking ahead of City's game against Everton on Wednesday, in which a win would see City draw level with Liverpool on points, the Spaniard said United will be there at the end of the season when squeaky bum time comes around.

"I never said Tottenham was not there, nor Chelsea," Guardiola said on Tuesday.

"I never put out all five-six teams, and United is making this run of victories every single week, they'll be there to fight for the Premier League.

"If Chelsea is able to do games in a row, games in row, they'll be contenders too to win the Premier League, so everybody is there. The gap is not too big.

"With 39 points to play for, when you are nine, ten points behind, it's not too much. Seeing what's happening right now in the Premier League, everybody is ready to take points."

It's set to be the most competitive title race in recent years, with two sides neck and neck at the top, and four others not far behind, though we can probably discount Arsenal.

Guardiola was also keen to downplay talk of City being reinstated as title favourites, given how quickly things can change.

"Three, four days ago we were already done," Guardiola said.

"The champion was Liverpool and now we are the favourite and maybe in three days we are leading or we are seven points behind."

"We try to be calm in this situation. There will be a lot of surprises and it will be tough for every team to win all games because the contenders and non-contenders and all the teams have the abilities, capacity and skills to create problems."

Four of the big six will be competing in this season's Champions League knockout phase, throwing an extra spanner in the works.

Spurs are likely to be the hit the hardest by the extra fixtures, given their lack of depth and the absence of Harry Kane and Dele Alli.