McCarthy, whose side have slipped into the relegation zone after collecting just three points from their last six games, said: "I think they are the strongest team.
"If they end up being the best team in the Premier League they will not be far away from being one of the winners in Europe."
McCarthy is full of praise for the impact made by Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti and added: "I have been impressed, but he wasn't a rookie manager was he?
"He has won the Champions League twice so I am not surprised with what he has done.
"He has got a good group of players and they look to me like they were under Jose Mourinho when he first arrived.
"They look a really happy bunch together and there is no tittle tattle coming out of there anymore."
Wolves head to Chelsea on the back of a 4-1 defeat to Arsenal and McCarthy admits trying to come up with a plan to stop Ancelotti's side is going to be tough.
"It is a hugely enviable task as everyone wants to be doing it," he said.
"All those teams in the Championship would like to be doing exactly the same.
"How do we stop them?
We go and play against them. I always take the view that they will lose a game.
"I said the same thing before we played Arsenal and I still say if we had scored when we were on top at the start of the game who knows what would have happened.
"We would have been 1-0 up and that would have changed the course of the game and changed the way that it is played.
"We are second bottom, we are playing the best team and we are not fancied.
"They may be the best team in the world with the best players, with the best manager against a whole load of rookies that have just come up with a manager who has been in the Premier League once, gone down and got the sack.
"All those things are against us but this is a game of football and you know what, we might just get a handball and win it.
"That is football. I can't give anyone a game plan about how I am going to beat Chelsea so don't even ask me.
"Don't be so barmy to ask me how are we going to stop them, how are we going to do this and that because they can come up with something brilliant out of nothing against far better teams than us.
"But it is a game of football and Hull weren't fancied to beat Tottenham or Arsenal last season."
McCarthy will give a late fitness test to defender Ronald Zubar, who picked up a thigh strain in training.
Right-back Kevin Foley, who has only started three games this season due to knee ligament problems, is on standby to replace Zubar after his return to fitness.