(Reuters) - Interim Chelsea manager Frank Lampard described Manchester City as currently the greatest team in the world and said the rest of the Premier League have to aspire to the high standards set by Pep Guardiola's title-chasing side.
City are poised to wrap up their fifth league crown in six years and are also in contention to complete the treble this season, having reached the Champions League and FA Cup finals.
Guardiola's side have a four-point lead and a game in hand over Arsenal, who must win at Nottingham Forest on Saturday to realistically stay in the title race at least until City host Chelsea a day later.
"I don't know about the greatest ever but they are clearly a fantastic team and they have been for a good while now," Lampard told reporters on Friday before Chelsea's trip to the Etihad Stadium.
"Huge credit for that consistency. They're coming very close to becoming the greatest team, especially if they win the Champions League... In their form, you wouldn't want to bet against them on anything.
"I think they are the best team in world football. Is it good for English football? Yeah, why not? You've got to push the standard. The rest of the league have to try to aspire to that."
Lampard said he wanted to bring City striker Erling Haaland to Stamford Bridge during his first stint in charge of Chelsea between 2009-21 when he was the permanent head coach.
The Norwegian international, who joined City from Borussia Dortmund at the start of the season, has scored 36 league goals so far this term - as many as Chelsea.
"I think he's special, I thought he'd adapt straight away and show his level," Lampard said. "I don't know whether he would have decided to come here anyway but I was a big fan.
"Credit to him because I love seeing players at that level, with personality and the hunger to be the best."
Chelsea defender Benoit Badiashile will miss Sunday's match after he sustained a groin injury in training, Lampard said.
Chelsea are languishing 11th in the league with 43 points from 35 games.