Antonio Conte’s renewed Chelsea will get a moerse test when the Premier League table-toppers visit Manchester City this weekend on the back of a seven-match winning streak.
Only one point separates the two sides with Chelsea on 31 and City on 30.
But Conte’s impact at Stamford Bridge appears greater than his Eastlands counterpart Pep Guardiola’s.
That is mainly due to the contrast from last season.
Chelsea are 17 points better off than they were at this stage last season in the final days of Jose Mourinho, while City have four more than after 13 games under Manuel Pellegrini.
The goal Tottenham scored in a 2-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge on Saturday was the only one the Blues have conceded in the last seven matches as Conte’s 3-4-3 system continues to keep out rival attacks.
City, after a runaway start, have not been firing on all cylinders of late, sukkeling to narrow wins over Crystal Palace and Burnley, and former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss Guardiola accepts Chelsea are setting the standard.
He says: “We are going to play against the best team at the moment in the Premier League. The last five or six weeks they have played amazing.
“We have to try and discover his secret and what we need to do to beat him and will prepare as best as possible.”
Blues legend and ex-coach Ray Wilkins reckons his old club’s progress will be clearer after this weekend, saying: “I think this will tell Conte whether his three at the back is viable against the top, top teams.”