Roberto Di Matteo feels Manchester City are favourites to win the Premier League title this season as Chelsea try to close a big gap to the champions.
City edged out local rivals Manchester United on goal difference last term and started the new campaign by beating Chelsea 3-2 in the Community Shield on Sunday.
Following the victory at Villa Park, City finalised their first summer signing by bringing in Jack Rodwell from Everton and Di Matteo expects his counterpart Roberto Mancini to make further additions before the transfer window closes.
Di Matteo, who took charge at Stamford Bridge in March, has been busy strengthening his own squad in an attempt to improve upon last season's sixth-placed finish.
The Chelsea boss said: "They are the champions, we have to catch up 25 points from last season. They are favourites, there's no doubt about it.
"Manchester United will be chasing City as well, they have a strong squad, I'm not sure if they will make any more signings but they have a strong team."
One of Di Matteo's summer signings - Eden Hazard - started against City and the Blues chief was pleased with the Belgium international's display.
He added: "He was lively, he caused them some problems. He had a couple of good opportunities and attempts.
"He's playing on the left and finding his feet with Ashley [Cole], but he showed some glimpses of his quality and I'm sure he'll be a big success for us."