Conte says Spurs have had title advantage over Chelsea

If they beat West Brom on Friday they'll confirm what we've known for some time: Chelsea is the best team in the Premier League by a country mile.

Having slumped to a mid-table finish last season, the Blues have been resurgent under Conte in 2016-17, sitting four points clear of Tottenham with a game in hand, with an FA Cup final also on the horizon.

It appears as though Chelsea have already lined up a replacement if Conte does depart this summer.

But, rather than seeing this as a helpful factor, Conte believes Pochettino working for a third year with a settled squad was a preferable position to his own - inheriting a group of talented players at a low ebb.

Max Allegri is on course for the title with Juventus and he also has one foot in the Champions League final after last Wednesday's 2-0 semi-final, first-leg win at Monaco.

"Then, I think Tottenham, in their project, have an advantage if you compare them to us". I want players ready to fight and put themselves in the team to win together.

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"I can see the right concentration, the right focus, about my players", Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, 47, said, per the BBC.

"If you consider the amount of our games and their games, there is a difference of what, eight games?" It is very hard, very strong and it's totally different to the Italian or Spanish leagues.

"Next season for us it will be the same".

Chelsea have won each of their last six Premier League games against Middlesbrough without conceding a single goal. Diego Costa is likely to move to Tianjin Quanjian - unless a major European club expresses late interest - while John Terry will sever his ties with the club.

To Conte, it comes down to the flexibility of Italian coaches and it is a trait he has demonstrated during what has been a wonderful season for him. The 30-year-old has not been a regular starter this season and was selected due to N'Golo Kante's injury.

The rest of the top six will be expected to strengthen however - especially the Manchester clubs - which means that we'll have to rise to the next great challenge once again. Defeat against Arsenal was far from ideal for morale amongst other things, plus the Europa League is no easy win, with Celta Vigo still to see off and a very talented Ajax side looking set to await them in Stockholm. This is a process.

"For sure, we are in a moment of transition".

"I would say that we've not had much luck this season".

Middlesbrough have 28 points with three games remaining. Don't forget Oscar, who went in the transfer market when we sold him.

However, Boro knew they would drop back into the Championship after just one season if they failed to pick up at least a point and head coach Steve Agnew opted for a slightly more adventurous line-up with the speedy Adama Traore handed a start.

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