Andre Villas-Boas admits the Premier League title race is wide open after Jose Mourinho admits Tottenham are contenders

Spurs boss says that each team is dropping points, and with last year's champions Manchester United struggling for form, he feels the crown is there for the taking

Andre Villas-Boas believes the door is wide open for Tottenham to challenge for their first title in over half a century.

Villas-Boas' new-look Spurs team will face their biggest test of the season today when they host Chelsea at White Hart Lane.

After a £103million summer spending spree, the north London club have started the campaign well, registering eight wins out of nine matches in all competitions.

Such form has suggested that Spurs, who are second in the Barclays Premier League, could be serious title contenders.

Not since 1961 have Tottenham topped the table come the end of May, but, if the early-season form of their rivals is anything to go by, Villas-Boas admits the title could be within the club's sights.

"It looks that way," the Portuguese said when asked if he thought the title race was open.

"There is no team on maximum points again. The champions are at the moment struggling for points, although they have gone through a calendar that no-one has gone through yet.

"Manchester City lost points at Cardiff and drew at Stoke, so there have been some surprising results.

"We, after Saturday, can end up being with two defeats and it could be the same for Chelsea, so it looks like it is going to have that pattern for the rest of the season."

There were inevitable concerns that Tottenham would not be able to cope without Gareth Bale following his world-record transfer to Real Madrid.

But the seven players brought in as a result of the Welshman's departure have settled in superbly.

Roberto Soldado has scored four goals in six games, Paulinho has added drive to what previously looked a flat midfield and Christian Eriksen has given Villas-Boas an effective number 10 that he has been lacking since Rafael van der Vaart returned to Hamburg.

Tottenham's record of conceding one goal in nine matches is also something that Villas-Boas should be proud of.

The 35-year-old claims the best is yet to come from his team, however.

"We can become better, I agree with that," he said. "We will bond together more with results.

"At the moment we are getting them and we have not had that blip that would disturb our confidence a little bit.

"We have the solutions in depth that we probably never had, so it is a question of continuing to be constant with the results, wins and clean sheets, and the motivation will increase."

PA

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