Chelsea boss sends out a warning to the Manchester duo


Chelsea boss Antonio Conte believes it is normal that both the Manchester clubs are at the top of the table at this stage of the season but he warned them that anything can happen at the end of the season.

The Manchester rivals boast identical records after five games, each taking 13 points from their unbeaten starts to the new campaign and scoring an impressive 16 goals and conceding only twice.

Pundits all over the world have claimed that despite the vast quality of sides in the premier league, the title will go to the city of Manchester with the two sides from there being the main competitors.

And asked about his title rivals, Conte said: ‘You know very well that, in England, there are six top teams. Manchester’s teams are in these six teams. It’s normal.

‘It’s normal for United and City to be competitive and to fight for the title and the other competitions. It’s normal.

‘My idea of football is to be a team, and then the team try to extract the characteristics of the individual players.

‘Now we are recovering Hazard after a bad injury, and recovering Pedro after a bad start to the season with injuries. We’re trying to face difficult situations, bad situations – Cahill three games of suspension, and now David Luiz.

‘When you are a team, you can face this type of situation in the right way. I’m sure about this. But now it’s not important. We have to stay there and try and do our best. At the end of the season, we’ll see what happens.’

Chelsea suffered a surprising defeat to Burnley on the opening day of the season but have since impressed, winning three of their four games.

The Blues failed to find their best form against London rivals Arsenal on Saturday as Arsene Wenger’s side left Stamford Bridge with a hard-fought point.

But Conte’s side will be expected to dazzle when they face Championship side Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night, despite the manager preparing to make some significant changes.

Chelsea are expected to start an all-Belgian attack with Eden Hazard making his first start of the season, Charly Musonda making his first ever Chelsea start and Michy Batshuayi deputising for Alvaro Morata.

Ethan Ampadu, the highly rated 17-year-old who was signed this season from Exeter City has also been spotted training with the first team and is expected to feature from the bench for the Blues.

Dujon Sterling, a two-time FA Youth Cup winner, may also be in the squad. Sterling and Ampadu have trained with Conte’s first-team squad.

“Ampadu is a young player but I think he has good quality,” said the Chelsea head coach. “He has good prospects to become a Chelsea player. He’s strong physically, [has] good technique and personality. Yes, I think we have to continue to work with him and to try and improve him, to bring him to the next step. But for sure he has good prospects at Chelsea and will be in the squad [against Forest].”

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