Manchester City's David Silva has not been surprised by the positive impact Frank Lampard has had at Chelsea since taking over as head coach.
Chelsea face defending Premier League champions City at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, and head into the fixture a point and a place ahead of Pep Guardiola's side.
While City lost 3-1 to leaders Liverpool last time out, Chelsea have won their past six Premier League outings.
Silva played alongside Lampard at City in 2014-15 after the former England midfielder ended a 13-year playing stint at Chelsea and says he could spot the managerial potential immediately.
"I could see a manager in him when he was here. He was an incredible player, a world-class player," said Silva, who will bring his City career to an end after this season.
"The way he played, as well as his experience in football, now he transmits it to his players. He is showing it already, he is going to be a fantastic manager.
"I'm not surprised [how well he's done so quickly]. He has clear ideas and he is doing very well. What matters is that he has been given the opportunity and he's making the most of it."
With Chelsea serving a transfer ban, Lampard has been praised for his willingness to utilise the Blues' youngsters, with Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori all particularly impressive, while Christian Pulisic has begun to shine in recent matches.
City trail league leaders Liverpool by nine points, but Silva insists Chelsea must also be considered as contenders in the Premier League title race.
"I think so. Even though it's Lampard's first season, they are playing really well," Silva added.
"They are there in the title race. It will be a beautiful game: two attacking teams that want to keep the ball and score goals. It's going to be an entertaining game for the fans.
"Abraham is playing really well, like the rest of his team. They have players that they are doing really well and helping him.
"They have also a bunch of young players and, when the team plays well, it's always easier for them to shine."
Silva also stressed the importance of City immediately recovering from their defeat at Anfield last time out.
"We are nine points behind. We need to focus on ourselves, try to win every game and we will see what happens at the end of the season," said Silva, who has won four Premier League titles with City.
"I think we are in good form, in spite of some bad results. Liverpool are doing very well; that's why there is a big gap between us. This is not the first time we have been so far off the top of the table.
"We have had this gap in other seasons, even with less games left, and we managed to win the championship in the end. We need to remain calm and focus on our games."