Antonio Conte has told his Chelsea players to “keep the antenna high” and forget talk the title could be theirs this weekend.
Conte’s side go into Saturday’s game against Arsenal with a nine-point lead at the top, and Gunners ‘Invincible’ Robert Pires believes the Premier League will be decided with 14 games to play if Chelsea win at Stamford Bridge.
But the Chelsea boss, who led Juventus to three straight titles, wants his squad to maintain the kind of “tension” that helped them win 13 straight league games after September’s defeat at the Emirates.
“Anything can happen,” he said. “It’s important to keep the antenna very high. If someone thinks that the league is finished, I’m not so sure.
“I want to have this tension, this right tension. In the past I fight to win the title and I know we must pay great attention. There are 15 games to play and there are a lot of great teams behind us.”
Arsenal were 3-0 up at half-time in September, prompting Conte to ditch his back four in favour of the three-man defence which was his trademark in Italy.
Chelsea have not looked back, but he said: “It’s important to remember the defeat against Arsenal. It was a bad defeat, 3-0 after the first half.
“And in my mind it’s present, it’s always present, this defeat. I hope it’s also in the mind of my players.
“A lot of things changed now. For sure we are a team. We want to have a good game tomorrow.”