Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho says Tottenham Hotspur have a team capable of challenging for the Premier League table, as the two sides prepare to meet at White Hart Lane on 29 November.
"When I watch them play it's not a surprise for me. If they tell – I never listen that – but if they tell, players or manager, if they tell they are fighting for the title I would not laugh. I would accept it because the team is very good. Manager is good, players are good. Good stability, playing well, I think really, really a very good team," Mourinho said on 27 November.
Spurs are fifth in the league, only four points behind league leaders Leicester City, and remain undefeated at home this term. Meanwhile, Chelsea have lost three out of their last four league games and find themselves 15th. The Blues boss said the team's position in the table will not change their approach to matches very much.
"Well I prefer to say that we have to play every match as if we are fighting for the title. I prefer to go in that direction. But the reality is that we need points the same way we needed them last season when we were top of the table and almost champion and fighting to be champion," he said.
"At this moment we are far from even the European positions and we have to play every game with ambition and determination because every point in the end of the season can make a difference. We've lost so many points already, that now we have to fight for every point even more."
Chelsea captain John Terry is doubtful for the match after being stretchered off during the 4-0 win against Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Champions League. Mourinho offered a vote of confidence in the central defensive pairing of Gary Cahill and Kurt Zouma should Terry fail to make it.
He said: "It's important but to be fair I have completely trust in Gary Cahill and Kurt Zouma. That's why in a fundamental match for us last Tuesday I left Zouma out after good performances he was having, to play Gary and to show Gary that confidence.
"So they are ready, they are ready. I am not saying Papiss Djilobodji is ready because he didn't have chances to play. This is a different situation. But Zouma and Gary they are both ready and if John doesn't play we go with Zouma and Gary."