Football

Neville: You need greatest run in history to catch Chelsea

Can any team deny Chelsea in the title race?

Yes, but only if their rivals produce an unbelievable run of form, said Gary Neville.

The former Manchester United star turned television pundit believed Chelsea will drop points in the run-up to the season finale.

Chelsea have been a hard nut to crack this season, having lost just three league fixtures under Italian manager Antonio Conte.

With the Blues eight points clear at the top of the table with 13 games remaining, they are the clear favourites for the title.

But Conte was quick to dismiss the air of complacency, stressing over the weekend, when Chelsea dropped two points in the 1-1 draw with Burnley, that six teams are still in the title chase.

But Neville does not feel the rivals have the capacity to overhaul the deficit.

He told Sky Sports MNF: "I don't think it's so much about whether Chelsea will drop points - they will.

"It's whether the others are capable of putting together, potentially, the greatest run in Premier League history to win 13 games on the bounce on the way in.

"You're still relying on Chelsea losing three or four matches and winning 13 games.

"I'm not sure we've got the trust in the other teams yet to think they can do that."

Neville admitted that injury problems could pose a threat to Chelsea's chase, but the other rivals will also have to contend with European distractions.

He said: "The fact that Europe's starting again for many of the teams will make it even more difficult.

"I think Chelsea are strong favourites, it could happen, but Chelsea would have to get injuries to key players - that's the one thing that would cause a big problem to Chelsea." 
- WIRE SERVICES

CHELSEA (EPL)eplAntonio Conte