Ashley Cole: Chelsea not out of title race, City not better than 'Invincibles'

Ashley Cole has told ESPN FC that Chelsea can still challenge Manchester City for the Premier League title, and claims the Arsenal "Invincibles" side he was part of would beat Pep Guardiola's men.

City have made a stunning start to the season, winning 12 of their 13 games and drawing the other to move eight points clear at the top of the Premier League table.

Reigning champions Chelsea are 11 points back in third, but former Blues left-back Cole says Antonio Conte's side still remain contenders for top spot.

"The title race is not over," the LA Galaxy defender told ESPN FC. "Man City are on fire, playing well and seem to have come together. But as players you never give up. So with Chelsea the current holders of the cup [title], I don't think they will give it up too easy. Hopefully they can retain this beautiful [Premier League] trophy.

"As players you never make one trophy a priority. They still have a chance to regain the league, so that'll be in the back of the mind of course, to make history and win the Champions League again. On all fronts, Chelsea are fighting for a lot of trophies."

Cole spent eight successful years at Chelsea but started his career with their London rivals Arsenal, who he helped go unbeaten to win the Premier League title in 2004.

With City still yet to lose a game this season, comparisons have been made to Arsenal's "Invincibles" side, though Cole says they still have a long way to go to match them.

"I'm not sure about the similarities," Cole said. "But so far they have the zero for losses, so you can compare on that front. They've clicked and connected. But it's tough to go 38 games unbeaten. Can they do it? Who knows but it's looking good for them so far."

Asked who would win between that Arsenal side and the current City team, Cole said: "I think the 'Invincibles' would win. No bias."

Cole's former Chelsea teammate Michael Essien also said the Blues are not yet out of the title race, but added that they need a strong December to keep them in contention.

"It's make it or break it -- December, it's always very difficult," Essien told ESPN FC. "After December you can tell who's going to win the title. Chelsea have a big squad that can stand up to every game, so I hope they can go through December in a good way.

"You can't say the title race is over just yet, but 11 points is quite a lot especially with Man City being very dangerous at the moment. It seems like no one can stop them, but I still think someone can. It's up to Chelsea to win their games and keep up with City, and hopefully Chelsea don't slip up."

Cole's contract with the Galaxy is up next month, but he is expected to negotiate a new deal to return to the MLS club in 2018.