Chelsea now sit “above Barcelona and above Real Madrid” in the Champions League pecking order, says Glenn Hoddle, with the Blues considered to be serious contenders for a continental crown.
Frank Lampard’s side put another impressive European marker down on Wednesday as they thrashed Sevilla 4-0 at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
Olivier Giroud got all four goals for the Blues, with the World Cup winner proving once again that he can play an important role for a star-studded Premier League outfit.
Confidence is building in west London when it comes to trophy bids at home and abroad, with Lampard’s side reaping the rewards of investing heavily over the summer.
Hoddle believes the Blues have risen above La Liga heavyweights when it comes to Champions League challengers, with there no reason why a repeat of their 2012 triumph cannot be chased down.
The former Chelsea player and coach told BT Sport: “Looking at the teams that are there, obviously Liverpool and Manchester City, they are going to be there or thereabouts.
“For City it's their No.1 priority, whether they tell you that or not, they want to win the Champions League.
“You can't look past Bayern Munich because they are so powerful but you have got to put Chelsea up there. For me at this moment, they are above Barcelona and above Real Madrid.
“They are two massive clubs but Chelsea's team is better than theirs.
“In this moment in time I think they have got to be looking at going to at least the semi-final and when you get to a semi-final, anything can happen.
“And they have international players who are going to get better as the season goes on and if the crowds are full and we are back to full houses - we haven't seen this Chelsea side inspired by a crowd and the bigger the occasion the better the best players are.
“There is more to come from Chelsea.”
Lampard’s side are safely through to the last 16 of the Champions League, allowing them to divert their full focus to domestic matters.
They have a tricky home meeting with Leeds to come in the Premier League on Saturday and seven games across all competitions to take them through to the end of the calendar year – a run which includes a couple of derby dates against West Ham and Arsenal.