Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte has described Manchester City as “unstoppable”.
The Blues, Premier League champions in Conte’s first season last term, are 22 points behind Sunday’s opponents.
Pep Guardiola’s side, Carabao Cup winners last Sunday and 3-0 winners at Arsenal on Thursday night, have a 16-point lead entering this weekend’s fixtures.
“In this moment they seem unstoppable,” Conte said on Friday.
“We must have great admiration for this team because they are having a fantastic path in this season.
“Sometimes it’s very difficult to find a weakness in this team.”
City finished third, 15 points behind Chelsea, in Guardiola’s first season in charge, but now are champions elect.
Asked the reason for the turnaround in such a short space of time, Conte’s answer hinted at his season-long frustration with Chelsea.
“When you work very well and there is a great feeling between the manager and the club, you can work in the way you want, to try to improve your team in the best way,” Conte added.
“Manchester City has the possibility to spend a lot of money. When you link this situation, good manager, much money to spend in the transfer market, the same ambition, this is the final result.”
Chelsea are seeking to avoid three successive away Premier League defeats for the first time in five years.
He called for the Blues to “fight” to secure a top-four place.
“It won’t be easy. There are many teams very strong,” the Italian added.
“We must be ready to fight and try to get a place for next season in the Champions League.”
Defenders David Luiz and Ethan Ampadu and midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko are unavailable through injury, but Ross Barkley is in contention to return following a hamstring problem.