Gianfranco Zola says the Premier League title race is over because Leicester City will not forfeit their lead at the top of the table.
Former Italy international Zola played under Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri while the pair were at Chelsea.
Ranieri has worked wonders at the King Power Stadium this season, with surprise package Leicester holding a seven-point advantage over second-placed Tottenham with just six matches remaining.
And Zola is delighted to see the underdogs on the verge of a famous title triumph.
"It will be a special win," Zola told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
"I am happy for Claudio and the club.
"The title race is over as only they can lose it at this point and it won't happen. Leicester City are the surprise team of the season."
Zola, who is currently head coach of Qatari outfit Al-Arabi, previously managed Watford and was in charge when they beat Leicester City in one of the most dramatic play-off semi-finals of all time in the 2012-13 season.
Several of Leicester's title-chasing team was involved in that contest, but Zola has seen a change in their play since then.
"I met Jamie Vardy and Wes Morgan when I was at Watford, but they are different players now," he added.
Leicester next face a visit to the Stadium of Light to face relegation-threatened Sunderland on Sunday.