Chelsea are the best team in England and should defend their Premier League crown “easily”, according to Manchester City coach Roberto Mancini.
City meet the reigning champions at Eastlands on Saturday with an injury-ravaged side containing just three fully-fit senior defenders.
However, according to the Italian, the result of this particular fixture will have little bearing on where the title ends up this season.
“Chelsea are the best team in the Premier League at the moment,” he said at his pre-match press conference on Friday.
“They are probably going to win the Premier League title easily. They are a strong team, who have been playing together for many years.
“They have a fantastic manager and they have worked to reach this situation.”