Nemanja Matic has praised FA Cup semi-final opponents Tottenham Hotspur and says that the winners may have a mental advantage in the Premier League title race.
Premier League leaders Chelsea have a four-point advantage on second-placed Tottenham and with six matches remaining in the competition, and the FA Cup semi final between the two sides is an attractive prospect for the neutral viewer.
Going into the match, Chelsea midfielder Matic spoke with the official Chelsea website about the thrilling rivalry between the two London clubs.
"They are very good, for me maybe the strongest in the Premier League from the opponents we have faced this season," the 28-year old said.
"They are hard to play against because they are strong physically and they can also play with the ball. So we must be ready for that, to stop them and to play our game.
"Every game is different but we know they are going to be aggressive. They have many good players and we have to be ready for that. We have trained well this week and I am sure we will be," he added.
Will the winners land a psychological blow in the competition for the Premier Leage title?
"Maybe. We will see about that," he said.
"After the semi-final we have to focus on the Premier League. We have six games left and five we have to win if we want to be champions.
"That is all we players will think about, whatever happens at Wembley.
"But really we want to be in the final and we will try to do everything to be there.
"Most of this team have not won the FA Cup and we would like to win it. We also know it is something special for the people. We are confident we can do it," the Serbia international added.
The Blues go into the fixture after a crucial away loss to Manchester United, a result Matic claims he and his teammates do not concern themselves with.
"We have already forgotten last Sunday's game," said Matic.
"That is important because a new game brings new challenges and that is what we have to focus on. It is the same when we win.
"We know we will have to play better than last weekend and I think we will. I am feeling good and the atmosphere at Cobham has been good.
"We are ready."