North London is ruling the roost in the Premier League at present with Arsenal FC and Tottenham Hotspur two points clear at the top of the table after five games.
These bitter rivals were widely considered to be merely fringe contenders for the title before the season began, but are now indicating they could sustain a serious challenge throughout the campaign.
Arsenal edge top spot on goal difference having extended their winning sequence in all competitions to seven games with last weekend’s 3-1 home victory against Stoke, rendering the opening-day loss by the same scoreline to Aston Villa a mere blip.
The Gunners are in to a best price of 7/1 with bookmaker Ladbrokes
to end their 10-year wait for another Premier League crown and aim to stay on the winning trail when they visit in-form Swansea City, who have recovered well from an uncertain start.
Tottenham are showing their summer transfer business was effective, selling Gareth Bale and buying the core of a new team, and the 1-0 defeat at Arsenal remains the only time they have failed to win so far this term in the Premier League or Europe.
But Andre Villas-Boas’ side now face a big test of their title credentials when they host Chelsea FC and will hope to do better than in the corresponding fixture 11 months ago, Spurs squandering a 2-1 lead midway through the second half to lose 4-2.
The cream has already risen to the top of the table and Manchester City are sitting handy in third position following their 4-1 derby thrashing of local rivals United.
However, the blues have failed to win away from home so far in this Premier League season and bid to reverse that trend at Aston Villa, 1-0 winners at Norwich last week.
Manchester United will try to get their title defence back on track at home to West Bromwich Albion, who got their season up and running with a 3-0 success against Sunderland that ended Paolo Di Canio’s short-lived Wearside reign.
Key Barclays Premier League fixtures (all kick-off times BST)
Saturday September 28
12:45 Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea
15:00 Aston Villa v Manchester City
15:00 Fulham v Cardiff City
15:00 Hull City v West Ham United
15:00 Manchester United v West Bromwich Albion
15:00 Southampton v Crystal Palace
17:30 Swansea City v Arsenal
Sunday September 29
13:30 Stoke City v Norwich City
16:00 Sunderland v Liverpool
Monday September 30
20:00 Everton v Newcastle United