Brendan Rodgers says Kilmarnock can take inspiration from Leicester's Premier League title-winning season as they look to push his Celtic side for the Scottish Premiership crown.
The last time Scotland's top-flight league was won by a team other than Celtic or Rangers was in 1984-85, by Aberdeen, but Steve Clarke's Kilmarnock lead the Glasgow giants by one point.
Celtic, who drew 1-1 against Motherwell in midweek to miss out returning to the top of the table, host Kilmarnock at Celtic Park on Saturday and have two games in hand on Clarke's men but Rodgers isn't surprised to see his opponents doing well.
"They deserve all the credit that they get. It is not by accident. It has been a real consistent run now over the last year or so," Rodgers said.
"Steve has done a brilliant job in terms of how he organises them, the way they want to play and consistently they have got very good results.
"Okay they have played two more matches than us but they are still in a position where some people wouldn't expect them to be.
"But if you watch them clearly, closely over the last year or so Steve and the players have done a great job in term of how they have worked. They are a very difficult team to beat so we know we have to be at our best to get a result we want."
Leicester memorably defied pre-season odds of 5,000-1 to win the Premier League in 2015/2016 and Rodgers admits the Foxes' success will offer belief of an unlikely domestic champion in Scotland.
"They will feel why not. I think what Leicester have done to probably every team other than a so-called big club is they have made the impossible possible," he added.
"But like I say it is still very early. We have played 14 games. Get down to when there are 10 games to go and then we will see where we are at. But what they have shown is the level of consistency.
"They are a very good side. They have got good players, some experienced players there and obviously Steve and his staff have done a great job so I am sure they will be up there throughout the season."
Clarke is the only manager Rodgers has yet to beat since he arrived in Scotland two years ago and the former Liverpool boss admits his side will need to deliver their best to get a victory.
"Yes, they have been a tough team to play against," Rodgers said.
"They sets up in a way that makes it very difficult for you. They haven't conceded for a few games either so you have to be really patient in a game against them.
"They bank up really tight and have got good players on the counter-attack. We have to be at our very best to get a result."