Yaya Toure is expecting a tough title race, while Manuel Pellegrini has dismissed claims the pressure is on Manchester City.
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho suggested earlier this week that City's summer spending spree means there is a weight of expectation on Pellegrini's side ahead of this season's Premier League.
But City midfielder Toure name-checked as many as six teams as having a chance of winning the title and is anticipating a keenly fought battle at the top.
"We have Chelsea in front with Mourinho and his new players who have come in," the Ivory Coast international told Sky Sports.
"United, Arsenal and even Liverpool. You see Tottenham (lose) yesterday but it is pre-season and we know Tottenham is a fantastic club - a great team.
"I think it is going to be between four or five teams, I'm sure, because I know the Premier League is going to be tough this year."
Pellegrini was unwilling to be drawn on Mourinho's comments, instead suggesting that pressure was something his players would relish.
"I don't have an opinion about what Mourinho says," Pellegrini told a press conference. "I think a big club like Manchester City always has a lot of pressure.
"It is important to play under pressure. I think players play better under pressure so we are not scared about that."
It is the opposition likely to be scared given that City were able to play new signing Alvaro Negredo alongside Edin Dzeko against South China on Wednesday - with Stevan Jovetic and Sergio Aguero also to come in.
When asked if City's forward options were the envy of the Premier League, Pellegrini added: "Yes, I think so. It is very strong.
"I know Negredo very well from the Spanish league so it was not a surprise for me the way he played.
"I think we have very good strikers with Dzeko as well. They can play together or we can play one of them with Jovetic or Aguero.
"We have four very good strikers and that's what you need if you play in the Premier League and Champions League as a competitive team.
"We are not just preparing a team, it's important to prepare the whole squad and then we will see who plays. We must be ready from the start of the first match against Newcastle."