Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola has backed his former club to win the Premier League title this season.
Chelsea have risen to the top of the table courtesy of a six-match winning streak during which time they have not conceded, scoring 17 times without reply.
Zola praised manager Antonio Conte for the impact he has had at Stamford Bridge already, and believes that the title race could end up being between the current top three of Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City.
“They are doing very well, are on a good streak and look solid, so it is a positive moment for the club. When the results are on your side, the atmosphere is very easy to be good, but I think the important thing is all of the work which they have put in place. Everything happening is the result of some very good hard work, everything is coming together. Antonio has done exceptionally well. He is creating an atmosphere and a good basis to keep this form for a long time,” Zola told PA Sport.
“I am pleased because they play well and are winning games deservedly. I had no doubts about the value of Antonio because I know his qualities. My only question was whether the players would buy his philosophy straight away because he can be a very intense and hard-working coach. It seems to me that they are fine with that, which is why the results are coming in so quickly. It is not by co-incidence either, it is the result of (doing) a very good job.
“It is going to be tight – but if you remember a few weeks ago, everyone was saying Manchester City had already won the league, then Tottenham beat them and also Arsenal beat Chelsea. With what the league is like now, it is very uncertain and there are five or even six teams who could win it and the team of the moment will be changed.
“It seems to me, though, that three teams look like they have the consistency that might be necessary to win the league – this could be Chelsea, could be Liverpool or Manchester City. It looks like (Chelsea) are more reliable now for a longer run, but we will see because you also have Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United too who can all come back.”