Former England defender Stuart Pearce has revealed that he expects Manchester United to win the title, but the job will be made very difficult if they lose their top scorer Romelu Lukaku through injury for any length of time.
The Red Devils have embarked on a remarkable start to the campaign, scoring 33 goals in only ten games in all competitions. Jose Mourinho's men also sit top of the Premier League table alongside arch-rivals Manchester City with 19 points, dropping just two points thus far.
Lukaku has been among the biggest contributors to United's tally so far this season, banging in 10 goals in as many games. The Red Devils forward is currently with the Belgium national team for their upcoming World Cup qualifying matches against Bosnia and Cyprus, but skipped training on Monday (2 October), sparking fears that he could be sidelined with an injury.
Lukaku was subject to an MRI scan after the injury scare, but it has come back positive with the Belgian Football Association confirming that there is no major damage to the ankle, but are yet to reveal if he will be available for their upcoming qualifiers on 7 and 10 October.
"I think the two Manchester clubs are going to be the ones to beat and, at the start of the season, I said United will win it – and I've seen no reason to change my mind. The only thing that might address the balance one way or another will be injuries to key players," Pearce told Yahoo Sport.
"If United lose Lukaku for any length of time, that could be a big problem for them. I wonder if City can, defensively, be strong enough to make a real title challenge this year – that would be the only question for me.
"Scoring goals is not a problem. People were insisting that Aguero could not play alongside Jesus, which is ridiculous in my opinion. Good payers can play with each other. There is enough of a supply line for Jesus and Aguero to operate in the same team and score goals, which they will do."