Antonio Conte says this season’s Premier League is the “most difficult ever” and believes his Chelsea side have five title rivals.
The Blues are currently on a six-game winning run and have not conceded a goal in the league in those games – a run which has seen them rise to the top of the table
Conte’s men face London rivals Tottenham on Saturday – one of the teams Conte believes are in the running to win the league. Spurs are fifth and four points behind Chelsea, while Arsenal are fourth, Man City are third and Liverpool are second with just four points between the quintet.
Manchester United complete the top six, but despite being nine points behind the leaders, they have still be named as contenders by Conte.
Chelsea’s fortune turned dramatically after they were humbled 3-0 at Arsenal at the end of September. The Italian then switched to a back three and they have not conceded a goal since.
“I’m particularly happy for the players, because first place isn’t just a reward for our work, but sign that we’re on the right track,” Conte told Gazzetta dello Sport.
“We can’t forget though, that a month and a half ago, after defeats to Liverpool and Arsenal, the weather was gloomy.
“Can we win the league? It won’t be easy. In the race for the title there are six teams. One will win, another three will go into the Champions League and the last two in the Europa League.
“This Premier League is possibly the most difficult ever. We have to take on Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham and Manchester United.
“There isn’t a league in the world with this level of quality. I want to show the club they’ve done well to focus on Antonio Conte for the next three years. That’s even more important than titles.”
Conte was last week named manager of the month for October.
“This is the first time I’ve won the award, it’s a great honour and I want to share it with my players and the club,” Conte told the club’s official website.