Former Chelsea captain Dennis Wise believes Manchester City will not be beaten to the Premier League title.
Pep Guardiola’s side are two points clear of Liverpool at the top of the table, and now 10 ahead of Chelsea following the Blues’ surprise defeat at Wolves.
Chelsea enjoyed a strong start to the season under their new manager Maurizio Sarri, but host the champions at Stamford Bridge on Saturday after suffering two defeats in their last three matches.
In contrast, City, unbeaten so far in their championship defence, are bidding for an eighth victory on the bounce.
“I don’t think City can be stopped, and they will win the Premier League this season,” Wise told Press Association Sport. “They are the best-equipped team in the league, and the side that everyone is trying to compete with.
“They have got quality all over the place, and they can change their personnel with ease. Look at Kevin De Bruyne. He has been out with an injury, but he hasn’t been missed with the way City have performed.
“So, they are the ones to chase, and the team that will get close to them is probably going to be Liverpool.
“Can Chelsea beat them on Saturday? Of course, but it will be a big, big test.”
Sarri is hopeful midfielder Cesc Fabregas will extend his stay with the club, but it is understood the Spaniard is after a long-term deal.
It has been Chelsea’s policy in recent times, however, to offer any player over 30 only a one-year contract extension.
Fabregas, 31, started for the Blues against Wolves on Wednesday, but he has largely been a bit-part player under Sarri, and Wise, who played 445 times for Chelsea, does not feel the club should adapt their contract strategy for the Spaniard.
“The club will do whatever suits them financially,” he added. “If there is a situation where a player needs to be kept they will keep them, but it depends how important you are, and if there are other players in the squad that can replace you.
“Cesc hasn’t played as much as he would have like to have done this year, and when you get older it becomes your choice as to whether you want to play week in, week out, or just be a part of the squad.
“Chelsea are well-equipped in the midfield area, with Ross Barkley, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Mateo Kovacic, N’Golo Kante and Jorginho. They are all quality players, and you don’t need to overload in that position.”
:: Dennis Wise was speaking as he launched the inaugural ‘Sportsperson with a Personality Award’, sponsored by kwiff – the only sports betting app where any bet could be supercharged.