The Blues have started their overall campaign in perfect fashion. They have won their opening four top-flight matches for the first time since the 1969-70 season.
They have also reached the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup, following wins against Salford City, Fleetwood Town and West Ham.
The club finished 12th last term, but Townsend believes The Blues will be challenging the league’s top contingent this campaign.
‘They’ll be right up there’
He indicated that they have started in a more competitive manner than usual, crediting Carlo Ancelotti‘s influence on new signings.
“I fear they will be [up there]. They spend money every year but they seem to start very slowly and build as the year goes on.
“But they’ve got a world class manager and he’s got his signings who seem to have hit the ground running.
“I think they’ll be right up there come the end of the season.”
‘Can’t look beyond Liverpool’
The Merseyside club have recorded their best-ever start to a Premier League season and lead the Premier League standings on 12 points, three ahead of second placed Aston Villa, who have a game in-hand.
They host rivals Liverpool at Goodison Park in their next encounter, with a three-point lead over their arguably more-illustrious neighbours.
However, Townsend insisted it was the red club in Merseyside, who were still favourites to win the title.
“I do think it [the title race] will be a little bit closer, but I still think Liverpool and City are far and away ahead of the other sides.
“I think there will be more teams chasing them and they will be bunched up; it will be interesting who takes the third and fourth place.
“But I can’t look beyond Liverpool and Man City this season.”
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