Everton manager Ronald Koeman has tipped the Merseyside club's fierce rivals Liverpool to be among the sides fighting for the Premier League title this season.
Liverpool have made a strong start to the campaign, having lost only once in 14 games in all competitions, which has propelled them to the top of the league and the quarterfinals of the League Cup.
"It's still too early to say who will be the favourites but I have been impressed by Liverpool so far," Koeman told ESPN.
Liverpool are also the league's leading goal-scorers, having netted 30 times in 11 games, and their attacking style of play has given supporters hope that the club can end their 26-year wait for a league title this season.
"Maybe that is not what you might expect the Everton manager to say but they have been playing some very good football and deserve to be at the top," Koeman added.
"They have goals in their team and this is what all successful sides need. Of course they can be champions this season, they have a good chance, but they are not the only contenders."
Liverpool travel to face 10th-placed Southampton while Everton, who are seventh in the table, host second-bottom Swansea City on Saturday.