Chelsea legend Frank Lampard believes his former club can make great progress in the Champions League and contend for the Premier League title this season.
The English champions face Roma in the Champions League on Wednesday night looking for their third straight group phase victory.
“Manchester City and Manchester United have both got really strong squads but Chelsea’s first XI can rival anybody,” Lampard, who won the Champions League with Chelsea in 2012, told BT Sport.
“Manchester City are playing incredibly at the moment, as we all know. But I think the way Chelsea set up to go away in Europe and get results, which you have to do, especially in the latter stages – they have a really strong, organised team that can go and do the job like they did at Atletico. If they lose crucial players it will be tougher. But I do believe if they have a fit squad, they have a great chance of going as far in Europe as any of the English teams.”
Chelsea trail leaders Manchester City in the leaguewith nine points after being defeated 2-1 by Crystal Palace on Saturday and Lampard believes the Manchester clubs’ domination in the League could provide a chance for Chelsea to focus on other European clubs trophies.
He added: “It might be a focus at the end of the season if the title is out of reach. To consolidate league-wise and concentrate on getting top four, which is massive for Chelsea obviously, and maybe have a real run at the Champions League.”
The 39-year-old also praised Alvaro Morata performance since he joined the blues squad from Real Madrid in July.
“I’ve been hugely impressed with him,” Lampard said of the Spain striker who has scored six EPL goals this season before getting injured.
“I already liked him from afar, watching him. I think he has technically very good all-round centre forward play and he’s a centre forward who naturally finds himself in goalscoring positions.
“He knows the moves to make in the box and he’s always on the move.
“There were only two question marks for me at the start of the season: can he get to grips with the pace of the Premier League and can he be an outright number nine for a club the size of Chelsea?
“I think he’s shown he can on both fronts. It’s great to have him back in contention.”
The Blues will welcome Watford in the Englsh Premier League at Stampford Bridge on Saturday.