Football

Kante: We have to win every game

STOKE CHELSEA

Antonio Conte will not tolerate any complacency as Chelsea attempt to take their next step towards the English Premier League title at Stoke tonight.

Conte confirmed that he has his sights firmly set on a league and FA Cup double when he abandoned his policy of rotating his team and fielded a full-strength side in Monday's FA Cup quarter-final against Manchester United.

The 1-0 victory over Jose Mourinho's side set up a semi-final meeting with Tottenham, but that will be put to one side as Conte's side bid to open a 13-point gap at the head of the Premier League table, 24 hours before nearest challengers Tottenham and Manchester City are in action.

With just 11 games remaining and Chelsea showing no signs of faltering, the championship already seems assured.

Blues boss Conte, though, has already spoken of the painful experience of conceding an eight-point lead in Serie A as a player with Juventus and is determined there will be no let-up at Stamford Bridge.

Midfielder N'Golo Kante echoed his manager's thoughts.

"We have to win every game. First, we will try to win the next game in the league against Stoke and, when the cup comes, we are going to try to win it. It is a good challenge," the Frenchman told The Independent.

Victor Moses is Conte's only major injury worry, with the wingback unlikely to make the trip to Stoke because of a calf problem.

Manager Mark Hughes received a triple boost as Marko Arnautovic, Xherdan Shaqiri and Wilfried Bony will return to the squad for the Chelsea game.

Boosted by four points from their last two games - victory over Middlesbrough and the scoreless draw with Man City - Hughes said that the Potters will enter tonight's game with confidence.

"Chelsea are playing exceptionally well at the moment, so it will be a tough task, but we can draw encouragement from how we've performed in our last two games," said Hughes.

"You have to say that they are the toughest challenge we will face because they are the most consistent team and have a way of playing which, tactically, is difficult to go up against.

"If you try to stop one area of their progression, then they will open up other areas of the pitch and are able to attack in another way. They have good flexibility within a solid structure.

"It's a big test and they are clearly the best team this year which they have proven by the number of games they've won." - WIRE SERVICES

eplCHELSEA (EPL)Stoke City