Belgian forward Eden Hazard has named Liverpool as one of two teams Chelsea will rival in their race to win the Premier League title this season.
Chelsea sit first in the Premier League table having won their last seven league games, and as the top of the table starts to take shape, their star player is beginning to eye up their challengers.
“Man City and Liverpool,” replied Hazard when asked who he thinks are his side’s main title rivals.
“They are both good. If we want to be there at the end, then we have to finish above them.”
The Chelsea No. 10 has seven goals in 13 league appearances so far this season, one more than Liverpool’s leading scorer Sadio Mane and two more than Philippe Coutinho, who plays in a similar position.
Hazard made his picks from the current top three, and his team will visit City on Saturday lunchtime in what will be billed as an important game in the race for the title, even at this early stage in the season.
“Next week we go to Man City, a very good opponent,” added Hazard. “We want to keep going like this. We are full of confidence and want to win every game.”
Liverpool have already beaten Chelsea once this season, winning at Stamford Bridge back in September when a goal from Dejan Lovren and a wonderstrike from Jordan Henderson gave the Reds a 2-1 triumph.
The west London club’s only other defeat this season came at the Emirates Stadium where they lost 3-0 to Arsenal, but Hazard evidently doesn’t view their local rivals as title challengers.
“Two months ago we went to Arsenal and weren’t ready, but now we know what we have to do,” he said of the defeat.
Just 13 games into the season it might be too early to begin predicting who will be challenging at the top come May.
Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, as well as Arsenal, will also hope to be in with a shout of finishing in the top three, but the former pair will need to add more consistency to their performances if they’re to even trouble the top four.
Jurgen Klopp spoke of the title race earlier in the month, and suggested that it’s too early to decide.
“We saw Chelsea playing yesterday, quite impressive. We saw Man City playing Barcelona, quite impressive,” he said.
“Man Utd, never write them off. Tottenham are a good side. I’m not sure if I forgot anybody but there are a lot of really good teams around.”