Roberto Di Matteo takes his Chelsea side to White Hart Lane on Saturday (10.45pm AEDT) insisting his former boss, Andre Villas-Boas, could turn Tottenham Hotspur into a champion.
The Chelsea manager served under Villas-Boas at Stamford Bridge until the 35-year-old Portuguese boss was sacked last March.
They will clash as opponents for the first time on the White Hart Lane touchline but
Asked whether Tottenham under Villas-Boas is a team who can win the league,
"I have talked about United, Manchester City, ourselves and Arsenal and I said there could be a surprise.
"Spurs over the years have established themselves in the top five and are getting closer and closer to the top."
Tottenham currently lies fifth, five points behind Chelsea, but
"Spurs are a very dangerous counter-attacking team with the pace they have in the team with
"We have not won at White Hart Lane for a long, long time and that shows how strong Tottenham have become over the last five or six years."
"If you get sacked it doesn't mean you are a bad coach," said
"He's a bright man, a talented coach and he was very successful at Porto. I'm not surprised he's doing well.
"It's the first time we are playing against each other. My mind is more focused on the Tottenham team than on him. It will be the same for him.
"We have a very good relationship and respect for each other but we will both want to beat each other."
"We have had some games without
English Premier League