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Chris Maloney and mentor Gary Barlow talk ahead of the X Factor final in Manchester

Chris Maloney and Gary Barlow talk to Granada's Caroline Whitmore Photo: ITV Granada

Liverpool X Factor hopeful Chris Maloney and his mentor Gary Barlow believe coming from the North West will give them the ''upper hand'' as the ITV show reaches its climax in Manchester at the weekend.

They were speaking to Granada Reports' entertainment correspondent Caroline Whitmore at the official X Factor media conference at the show's weekend venue, Manchester Central.

Gary Barlow said he strongly believed former call centre worker Chris could win the competition.

''Everyone's got a chance at this point - but I think he's going to do it,'' said Gary.

Chris said ''it's anyone's game'' and that neither he nor rival contestants James Arthur or Jahmene Douglas could be classed as favourites.

The X Factor winner will be revealed on ITV1 as Dermot O'Leary hosts live final on Saturday and Sunday December 8 and 9.

For the first time ever, the final comes from Manchester as the three acts battle it out to land a life-changing record contract.

Judges Gary Barlow, Nicole Scherzinger, Tulisa and Louis Walsh will be joined by a 12,000 capacity crowd, with exclusive performances from One Direction and Emeli Sande.