Carlo Ancelotti has challenged his Chelsea players to back up his claim that they are the best team in the country by beating Manchester United in Sunday's Barclays Premier League title showdown.
Ancelotti believes the Blues are a better side than United but knows he will have to reassess that view if they lose at Old Trafford and all but surrender the championship. Chelsea certainly looked top dogs at the start of the season, when they flew out of the blocks and sparked fears they could run away with the title.
Their worst run in the league for almost 15 years saw them crash to fifth place but their comeback in the past two months from 15 points down to within three of United has been nothing short of sensational. Asked who the best team in the country were, Ancelotti said without hesitation: "Chelsea."
He added: "Why? "Because I am the manager of Chelsea.
"We have a different quality compared to the other teams, different ability. I don't think we are the 'best'. The table speaks.
"Until now, the best team have been Manchester United.
"Arsenal, I've been happy to watch play. Their football is very good.
"Manchester United are a very pragmatic, efficient team. When they attack, they are strong and quick and they defend really well. Chelsea are a combination of those two teams."
Beating United would send Chelsea top of the table for the first time since November and would put them on the brink of the greatest fightback in Premier League title history.
But defeat would leave them six points behind their rivals with only two games remaining, certainly enough for United to begin celebrating a record-breaking 19th league championship in front of their beaten opponents.