Chelsea manager Antonio Conte believes his side can striker a telling blow against keen London rivals Arsenal in their Premier League clash this afternoon.
The Blues are nine points clear of Arsenal, who thrash Chelsea 3-0 at the Emirates Stadium earlier in the season.
Conte is not taking winning the EPL for granted if they defeat Arsenal at Stamford Bridge, but says it will be an impressive result.
He said: “If we win the game, for sure, it’s a good hit for us. To improve your own place in the table, take three points and to have Arsenal 12 points (away), that’s very good.
“But tomorrow, I’m sure, it will be a really tough game and we must pay great attention.
“Arsenal beat us already in the first game and they have the possibility to repeat this in this game.
Arsene Wenger’s record against Chelsea
|Manager||Wenger wins||Draw||Chelsea wins|
|Claudio Ranieri (00-04)||7||5||1|
|Ruud Gullit (96-98)||4||0||0|
|Gianluca Vialli (98-00)||3||2||2|
|Andre Villas-Boas (11-12)||1||0||0|
|Antonio Conte (16-)||1||0||0|
|Avram Grant (07-08)||1||0||1|
|Carlo Ancelotti (09-11)||1||0||3|
|Jose Mourinho (04-07, 13-15)||1||8||7|
|Luiz Felipe Scolari (08-09)||1||0||0|
|Guus Hiddink (09-09, 15-16)||0||0||3|
|Rafa Benitez (12-13)||0||0||1|
|Roberto Di Matteo (12-12)||0||1||1|
“For this reason, we must be focused, stay in great concentration, and have the same anger, the same will to fight and try to win.
“It’s important. I like to repeat to my players: look at yourselves, not at others.”
The former Juventus manager admitted he had sleepless nights after that one-sided reverse at the Emirates in late September.
It remains to be seen if the Gunners would be able to wining the Chelsea as it was during the second of the season when the Blues manager switched to the 3-4-3 starting lineup for the first time which has proven to be fruitful for Chelsea ever since.
Chelsea have gone on to win 15 of their last 17 League matches, but Conte still has Chelsea’s last display against Arsenal in his thoughts.
With the formation, Conte’s side have gone on to win 15 of their last 17 Premier League matches, but the Blues last display against Arsenal still echoes.
He added: “This defeat seems far (away), but it’s important to remember because it was a bad defeat, 3-0 after the first half.
“In my mind it’s always present, this defeat. I hope also in the minds of my players.
“This game will be very difficult and I think it’s important to remember the first game against Arsenal. I think a lot of things have changed now.
Premier League Table Top Six
As of Tuesday, January 31
“But, for sure, we are a team. We play at home and we have our fans to push a lot. For these reasons, we want to play a good game, to win, but we must play great attention.”
The Gunners go into the encounter under pressure having lost 2-1 at home to Watford in midweek, but the Blues manager went on saying: “Sometimes the final result doesn’t tell the truth.
“If you watch the game, I think Arsenal were unlucky.
“Watford played a really good game, but Arsenal, in the game, had a lot of opportunities to score the goal, draw and then win.
“It didn’t happen, but I think they are in good shape, in good form, and that result was a strange result.
“In this case, now we have nine points more than Arsenal but, if we lost the game tomorrow, the points are down to six.
“For this reason we must pay great attention. In this moment it’s very important to exploit this momentum for us.
“We are in good shape. We are playing good football with good intensity.
“Tomorrow we have a good opportunity to show this.”