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Conte: Man City are 'fantastic'

TEST: Conte says City will give his side's title credentials a thorough examination

TEST: Conte says City will give his side's title credentials a thorough examination

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte believes this weekend’s game against Manchester City is a huge test of his side’s title ambitions.

Chelsea are currently top of the Premier League table, just one point ahead of Liverpool and City.

And the Italian, who took over at Stamford Bridge in the summer, has whetted the appetite ahead of Saturday's game between the two sides, describing City as “a fantastic team” and praising his players for their improving form. 

He told Bruce Archer at the Express: “It’s a big test because Man City are a fantastic team.

“Now we are a different team to two months ago. It would have been very difficult to win the Tottenham game if we were the same team as two months ago.

“I love the mentality of my players, I saw a great attitude and great commitment from all of them. I see the will to change something from the past, now it’s important to continue.”

Meanwhile, Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has played down the importance of this weekend’s fixture.

The Belgian believes his side's matches that follow the game with City – against West Brom, Sunderland, Crystal Palace, Bournemouth and Stoke -  will determine whether or not Chelsea will be champions in May, not the games against their direct rivals.

“We are taking it match by match,” Courtois told James Dickenson at the Express. “It’s quite hard to keep a run going in this league but after the couple of matches we lost we have won seven in a row which is very good.

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“Now we are going to Man City to try and get another result, and then after it the next away games are at Sunderland and Crystal Palace, and it is games like those that decide if you are going to be champions or not.

“You can win big matches even if you’re not having a good season, because it is a big match or a derby, but it is the smaller matches against difficult adversaries that you will see if you are going to be champions or not.”

And, finally, the Sun’s Anthony Chapman has identified four City youngsters he believes can make a breakthrough into Pep Guardiola’s first team in the near future.

Chapman suggests Thierry Ambrose, Cameron Humphreys, Aaron Nemane and Issac Buckley could all be set for a bright future at the Etihad.

On Buckley, he writes: “Buckley, 18, has become a regular for England’s U19s this year.

“And the versatile forward’s is set to continue his development under the watchful eye of Guardiola after signing a new deal until 2019 in November.”

That’s all for this morning’s round-up. We’ll have more throughout the day with a similar look back tomorrow morning. 

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