Frank Lampard has stated that Tottenham would have been people's 'favourites' to be in the Premier League title race this season amid talk of a top-four fight with Chelsea.
Spurs were languishing in the bottom half when the North London club appointed Jose Mourinho, but his arrival has resulted in his side moving up to sixth and only now being six points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.
Later on this month, Tottenham will host Chelsea in the Premier League, and given the current gap, that game could be pivotal in the race to finish in the Champions League places at the end of the campaign.
Speaking to Chelsea TV ahead of a set of midweek matches, to try and emphasise how difficult of a top-four challenge Chelsea face with Spurs, Lampard pointed how their rivals would have been expected to challenge for the title this season.
"I think the competition for the top-four is always going to be great this season," Lampard told Chelsea TV. "Tottenham would have been people's favourites to be in the title race at the start of the season, let alone top-four.
"We understand the competition of many teams in and around us. Some teams that have been unfancied are there as well, so we have to respect everybody, but mainly worry about ourselves."
Before Chelsea and Spurs meet in the Premier League, Mourinho will travel to Old Trafford on Wednesday night to take on his former club Manchester United.
On the other hand, Chelsea are set to face Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge, and with a busy festive period now in full flow, dropped points in these coming weeks could prove to be pivotal.
Spurs are still on a high with Mourinho's arrival and they are still riding on that wave, whilst Lampard's side, who have started the season in a bright fashion, have lost back-to-back league matches.
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