Papers: A three-horse race
Title chase is a three-way fight
Sir Alex Ferguson has claimed the title race would come down to a three-way fight between United, Chelsea and Arsenal, with Manchester City in the mix if they can find some consistency. And Fergie joked that Chelsea had influenced the fixture calendar, given the ease with which they won their opening five Premier League games against West Brom, Wigan, Stoke, West Ham and Blackpool. “I think Chelsea chose the calendar themselves,” said Fergie. “They’ve had a quite amazing start to the season. But they finished last season scoring a lot of goals against weaker teams and have continued that way. You still have to beat those teams, and Chelsea done that in quite a strong fashion. Anyone who wins the league will have to finish above them. The previous winners always deserve respect, because the Premier League is a difficult league. Ourselves, Arsenal and Chelsea have started reasonably well and will all be there at the end of the season. Manchester City did not have the strongest start to the season, but you have to think that with the squad they have they’ll be there."David McDonnell, Daily Mirror
The Mirror also claim United and Chelsea will do battle over a transfer target. The two clubs are keenly monitoring Wesley Sneijder's availability, allegedly, after the Dutchman's contract talks with Internazionale stalled.
Meanwhile, former United striker Alan Smith has warned Antonio Valencia that he faces a stern test to recover from his ankle injury. The Ecuadorian's fracture and dislocation mirrored an injury suffered by Smith in 2006, and the former England international says: "I've not been the same player since my injury. Hopefully Antonio Valencia will be able to get back to the level that he was at before. It takes hours of work. It will be very difficult but I'd like to wish him all the best."