Jose Mourinho expects Leicester City to retain their Premier League status, as he prepares to take his Chelsea side to the King Power Stadium on Wednesday.
Leicester have been resurgent in recent weeks, stringing together four consecutive wins to climb from the foot of the table to outside the relegation zone.
Saturday’s 1-0 win at fellow strugglers Burnley lifted them to 17th, a point clear of danger, although they now face a much sterner test in the shape of the league leaders.
Chelsea’s 0-0 draw at Arsenal at the weekend means they cannot clinch a fourth Premier League crown on Wednesday, although it is seemingly only a matter of time for Mourinho’s men.
“I think they are going to survive,” the Portuguese said. “I was surprised with their bad position because they’re a good team with good players.
“I’m not surprised they are out of the relegation zone and I will not be surprised when they keep in the division. They are playing well and the results are coming.
“We are never complacent, we know that they are a good team and they are a difficult opponent.”
Wednesday’s clash also gives Mourinho the chance to reunite with Leicester midfielder Esteban Cambiasso, whom he worked with during a successful spell at Inter.
“I won the treble with Cambiasso, he was fundamental to my golden team and he is one of the players that means a lot to me,” Mourinho said.
“He is being phenomenal for them and I’m very happy for him.”
Mourinho continues to have doubts over Diego Costa (hamstring) and Loic Remy (calf), although Oscar should be in contention after taking a blow to the head against Arsenal.
For Leicester, David Nugent (calf) and Jeffrey Schlupp (knock) remain doubtful.
Despite their superb form during April, manager Nigel Pearson knows there is still plenty of work ahead.
“It’s been very satisfying to get four wins and it gives us a realistic chance,” he said. “The only thing that matters is that we’re out on the bottom three after 38 games. To do that we have to remain focused.
“There is still a lot of football to be played. Every game now has something riding on it. There’s lots left to do.
“We want to try to win this next game. It will be hard against Chelsea, but there’s no reason not to look at it positively.
“Chelsea will be strong on Wednesday. We expect them to be at their best and we have to be at our best. Throughout the season our fans have remained positive, but in the last few games in particular, they have inspired us.”
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