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Arsene Wenger has predicted the toughest Premier League title race in history.
The Arsenal boss believes up to seven teams could be competing for honours this season, including Everton and even managerless Aston Villa.
Although Chelsea won the double last season with Manchester United a close second in the Premier League and Arsenal third, the changing of the guard had already begun.
Tottenham finished fourth after a nail-biting battle with Manchester City while Liverpool dropped out of the Champions League places.
Wenger is confident Arsenal can climb the "two stairs" required to clinch their first title since the Invincibles swept all before them in 2004.
But City will have bankrolled their title challenge to the tune of £100 million if James Milner completes his move to Eastlands.
And Wenger told Arsenal.com: "What changed in England last year is that everybody could drop points, it was the first season that really happened. So it will be more open this year.
"You expect Manchester City, who invest a huge amount of money, to be one of the contenders as well.
"Tottenham [can challenge] if they can confirm what they produced last year, Aston Villa as well. You could have six or seven teams because Everton for me has a strong squad too.
"I believe we have a good chance. The most important thing is that we have that belief."
Wenger is having to manage a potential midfield injury crisis as Arsenal build towards their opening match of the season against Liverpool on Sunday.
Abou Diaby, Alex Song and Denilson have all been nursing injuries during pre-season while Cesc Fabregas has not featured at all since the World Cup.
Fabregas has flown to Mexico with Spain this week, disrupting his preparations further and Wenger will decide whether or not to risk his captain at Anfield on Friday.
With Wenger's options stretched, 18-year-old pair Jack Wilshere and Emmanuel Frimpong could well be called upon to continue their impressive pre-season partnership.
Wilshere and Frimpong started in central midfield in Arsenal's last three pre-season games, against AC Milan, Celtic and Legia Warsaw.