Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has labelled Pep Guardiola's Premier League Champions Manchester City as the benchmark in English football.
The Sky Blues are ten points clear at the top of the table, showing impressive consistency at the half way point of the season.
Speaking ahead of Saturday's early kick-off, Tuchel discussed the opposition and labelled them as the benchmark in English football.
He said: “They are the bench mark, the best team in England right now. This is something we have to admit realistically."
The head coach continued to challenge his team to perform as they head into the match knowing a loss could all but see their title hopes over as it would put them 13 points behind the Citizens.
"We don’t think a lot in scenarios what happens if," he continued. "Let’s play the game. I am always in for a good fight but also very realistic. If you look back to the last games, if we have the squad, feel good and are in a good shape, we are always up for a good fight with Man City. We are always there to push them to the limit and ask some questions maybe they don’t like to answer. But the situation is that they are very strong, very consistent and perform on the absolute highest level so this is it."
The German also heaped praise on his opposite number Guardiola, labelling him as the benchmark for managers.
“Yes. Simple question, short answer. For me yes. Everyone can have his own opinion. Look at his track record, what he did at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Man City. Look at his clubs, yeah, top.” Tuchel admitted.
Chelsea will be hoping for a victory which would see them close the gap to the leaders to within seven points after a tough December spell which saw the Blues drop points to West Ham United, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Brighton and Hove Albion.