Jose Mourinho is still worried for Chelsea - even though they're third in the Premier League

Burnley FC v Chelsea FC - Premier League

The blue flag is certainly flying high at Chelsea as we approach the crucial December period of the season.

Frank Lampard has managed to successfully integrate an unprecedented blend of youthful talent and world-class players into the first-team set-up at Stamford Bridge.

On Saturday he became just the seventh English manager to win six consecutive Premier League matches with a 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace at home.

Meanwhile, the three points also marked Chelsea’s longest winning streak in the top-flight since they last won the title in the 2016/17 campaign.

The past few weeks have said a lot about the Blues’ character, but doubts over their ability to cope with the transfer ban currently imposed on them may not yet be completely dispelled.

Jose Mourinho was disturbed by Chelsea’s 4-0 loss to Manchester United on the opening day of the season, and since then he hasn’t seen enough to feel they’re ready to compete on the big stage again.

“In the first weekend, I was worried - and I’m still worried with the big matches,” the Portuguese tactician said while on punditry duty with Sky Sports.

“Fantastic work that the kids coming into the team are fitting amazingly well with top-class players like Willian, [N’Golo] Kante.

Chelsea FC v Crystal Palace - Premier League

“I think really, really great work by Frank, but they lost twice against United, they lost against Liverpool at home, they conceded four goals against Ajax.

“I’m very, very curious to see Chelsea in the next match at the Etihad because I’m curious to see if they found that great empathy between the good football that they play and the pragmatism that they must have - especially to play against the top teams.

“When they find that, I think they have a great team. For the future, I don’t believe in them to finish top two but I believe very seriously that they are going to finish top four.”

Chelsea probably would’ve taken a top-six finish if they were offered it at the beginning of the campaign.

But the exciting young squad Lampard has put his faith in looks genuinely capable of finishing third - perhaps even second - in the league.

We’ll get a telling indication of what they’re made of when they travel to City later this month after the international break.

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