Gary Neville insists it is too soon to put Chelsea ribbons on the Premier League trophy.
Antonio Conte’s side are now hot favourites to win the title race after storming six points clear of the chasing pack at Christmas following a brilliant 11-game winning run.
Neville does believe they have all the ingredients to finish the job and be crowned champions in the spring.
The Sky Sports analyst said: “I didn’t think they would be champions at the start of the season. I’m still not sure, I wouldn’t fully trust any of them yet, but they do like they are producing the type (champions) performances.
Antonio conte speaks after chelsea extend league lead
“The Southampton away one, that’s the one where I thought, that’s a championship winning performance. But it is too early in the season to hand them the title.
“You still have to have doubts over them through the fact, for instance, if you got an injury to Eden Hazard, an injury to Diego Costa.
“You have to throw in the doubts that exist. They are such important players.”
But the former Manchester United and England defender was full of praise for league-leading Chelsea.
He said: “They have got the mental strength. If they steer clear of injuries, they’ve got a great fixture programme over Christmas, they’ve got players who’ve won the league before, they’ve got a lot going for them.
“Does that mean to say I’m sure they’ll win the league?
“There are still too many variables for me. But I like what I am seeing from them, they are playing well, I like watching them and they have a really good balance.”
And having praised Chelsea’s “solid” defence, their midfield pairing of Nemanja Matic and N’Golo Kante and front three, Neville was especially keen to highlight one other player.
He said: “People think I’m critical of goalkeepers but they’ve got a world class goalkeeper who I love watching. He is a goalkeeper I’d love to have in my net. Please put that in your headline: Thibaut Courtois – wonderful.”
* Sky Sports viewers can enjoy Premier League football, Lions rugby, F1, England cricket, golf’s Majors, ATP Tennis, the Super League, NFL and much more in a sensational 2017.