Judge our Premier League chances at Christmas, asks Chelsea boss Di Matteo

Roberto Di Matteo has insisted his Chelsea side should not be rated as Premier League title challengers until Christmas, the London Evening Standard has reported.

Chelsea are currently four points clear of Manchester United and Manchester City at the top of the table, having gone unbeaten in the league so far this season. Defending champions City have also yet to lose but have drawn three games, whereas Chelsea have dropped points only once, away to Queens Park Rangers in September.

But despite the Blues’ strong start to the season – revealed by the Standard to be the club’s best in terms of points since the title-winning year of 2005-06 – Di Matteo has been at pains to stress it is too early to call Chelsea favourites for the league.

Di Matteo added that while he has no doubts Chelsea can cope with the pressure of being league leaders, it is too soon to say if they can maintain their challenge. He said: “It is too early to make any judgement in terms of the league…We’re not talking about winning the title at the moment. We have to wait until Christmas, when we have played half of the games, and then we’ll have a better idea of where we stand and how good we are.

The Italian pointed out that Chelsea finished 25 points adrift of City last season, claiming it is a disparity no team has ever been able to overturn in a single season, and that the recent victory over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium was not a result on which to evaluate the side.

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