John Terry could beat Frank Lampard in the "race against each other" to become Chelsea boss, according to former Blues captain Dennis Wise.
Reports have linked Derby County manager Lampard with a return to Stamford Bridge amid rumours Maurizio Sarri could seek a switch back to his native Italy.
Lampard, 40, spent more than a decade with the London club as a player and has reached the Championship play-off final in first season in charge of Derby.
He will share a touchline with former team-mate Terry at Wembley on Monday and it is the Aston Villa assistant that Wise views as a stronger choice to land the Chelsea job first.
"If I had to have a bet, if I was really pressed, then I would say John will get the Chelsea job before Frank," Wise told the Sun.
"They will both want it, I'm sure of that and it is a race against the clock — a race against each other — in many ways.
"John is doing it differently to Frank because he has gone in as an assistant at Villa to Dean Smith — and that's a shrewd move. It means he can listen to some conversations in the manager's office that he has never heard before.
"Players can look up to, respect and admire people like Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti out on the training field, or the way they conduct themselves around the club.
"What the players don't see is the planning, preparation, the tactical analysis and conversations that go on inside the manager's office."
Terry took up a coaching role at Villa in October after captaining the club in their play-off final defeat to Fulham 12 months ago.
The ex-England centre-back is said to be in the sights of Middlesbrough, who are searching for a new manager following the dismissal of Tony Pulis.