On the eve of Chelsea’s Premier League match with Southampton, Saints manager Nigel Adkins says the Blues are still in the title race.
They may be a distant 14 points behind leaders Manchester United, but Adkins thinks that signing striker Demba Ba from Newcastle can be the catalyst that propels Chelsea back into contention.
With Rafa Benitez at the helm, and player like Ba at his disposal, Adkins thinks it would be churlish to rule out Chelsea, with half the season left to go.
"I think with the addition of Demba Ba now and whoever else they might bring in they look a very well-equipped side to go for the title," Adkins said.
"It will be an interesting one but obviously he (Benitez) has started well in respect that they have won games, he is a good manager and has won the European Cup and the team play good.
"The experience of playing them here at St Mary's 10 days ago they have got exceptionally good football players who play good football and if you give them half an opportunity they will capitalise on that.”
As a manager who has felt somewhat under fire already this season, Adkins also has empathy for Benitez, who seems unlikely to win any fans at Stamford Bridge.
He is unsure if the Blues faithful will come around to Benitez, but knows winning could do the trick for the thoughtful Spaniard.
"Will he win the fans around, who knows?
"I think there has obviously been a big turnaround in managers at Chelsea anyway and I think you will find that Chelsea fans are passionate about their football club," Adkins said.