Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has hinted that Manchester City will be involved in a "five-horse race" for the Premier League title.
Ferguson believes a previously stuttering United have been galvanised by Sunday's hard-fought 2-1 victory over Stoke City.
However, he doesn't think the race for domestic honours will be a straight shootout between the Red Devils and reigning champions Chelsea as it has been in recent years.
Instead the veteran Scot has suggested that big-spending City and Tottenham will push United, Chelsea and Arsenal all the way this season.
He said:"I wouldn't be betting against it being a five-horse race. I think there is a lot of twists and turns in the race.
"The result at Stoke has had a galvanising effect on the club but we have to motor on now.
"At the moment Chelsea have done very little wrong but if you look at our programme, we have had a much harder programme than the rest.
"We've been to Everton, Sunderland, Stoke, Bolton – all these difficult places where nobody enjoys going, but we've got them out of the road now."