Premier League managers back Manchester United to win title
The majority of Barclays Premier League managers believe Manchester United will win the title this season.
A survey of 15 of the 20 top-flight bosses by League Managers' Association sponsors Barclays revealed 80% of them backed United to become English champions for a record-breaking 19th time.
Only 7% of managers questioned felt Arsenal would overhaul Sir Alex Ferguson's men, whom they trail by five points with a game in hand.
The same proportion backed Chelsea to complete one of the great comebacks in championship history by closing the nine-point gap - again with a game in hand - to United.
The majority of managers also dismissed the notion the competitiveness of the Premier League this season was down to a reduction in quality.
Sixty per cent of bosses felt greater strength in depth was the biggest factor.
Only 7% believed it was the result of falling standards at top clubs, while 74% said the Premier League's new homegrown player rule had made no difference to the division.
Four-fifths of those surveyed named Blackpool as their team of the season so far.
Of the survey's other findings, man management was declared the most important skill a boss can have (53%), with tactical know-how and ability to manage the board the least crucial aspects.
Ferguson was named the best manager in the history of the Premier League (87%) as well as being voted the greatest football manager of all time (27%), ahead of Jock Stein (20%) and Bob Paisley (13%).
United veteran Ryan Giggs was voted the greatest player to have graced the Premier League (47%), beating Eric Cantona (27%) and Alan Shearer (13%).
World Player of the Year Lionel Messi was named as the player most managers would like to sign for their club but less than 50% actually wanted him, with some preferring the defensive skills of Nemanja Vidic or the competitive spirit of Wayne Rooney.
Arsenal teenager Jack Wilshere was voted the young English player who has impressed managers most this season.
Rafael Van der Vaart was voted the best signing of the season having become Tottenham's leading goal scorer following his summer move from Real Madrid.
Latest in Sport
How Liverpool can catch Manchester United and secure Champions League football next season
Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger reveals: 'We are not close to signing anybody. We need to lose some players'
Danny Jones: Keighley Cougars half-back dies after cardiac arrest during league game
Chelsea season player ratings: Grading the entire squad of the new Premier League champions
Floyd Mayweather beats Manny Pacquiao by a unanimous points decision - but Pacquiao thinks he should have won, saying 'he did nothing'
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 4 The top 50 cities for young people to live in
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils