Liverpool and Arsenal matches not decisive for Chelsea, claims Conte

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Antonio Conte will still refuse to consider the prospect of blue ribbons adorning the Premier League trophy even if his Chelsea side overcome Liverpool and Arsenal this week.

The league leaders travel to Merseyside on Tuesday, with the Reds' challenge having faltered badly over the past month, before entertaining London rivals Arsenal at Stamford Bridge.

Conte's men are eight points clear of the Gunners at the summit, with Liverpool two points further back in fourth and successive wins would represent a significant step towards glory.

But the former Juventus coach insisted he will remain wary of potential pitfalls down the home stretch.

"This week we will face two great opponents and against Liverpool it will be a very tough game, I know this because they come into it after three defeats," he told a pre-match news conference.

"We must pay great attention because Liverpool is a really good team and is one of six teams who can fight until the end to win the title or for a place in the Champions League.

"It is a very important week but I know that after these two games we have to play 14 games to finish the championship

"For this reason, the result is important but these two games do not finish the league."

Similarly, Conte was unwilling to contemplate calling time on Jurgen Klopp's title hopes at Anfield.

"I don't like to reply to questions that start 'if ' or 'but'," he said. "After this game there are 15 games, there are 45 points before we finish the season.

"The result does not decide the season of Liverpool or Chelsea."

Chelsea's lofty position was more or less unforeseeable after Liverpool and Arsenal dealt out damaging defeats to the Blues back in September.

It was a 3-0 reverse to the Gunners at Emirates Stadium that prompted Conte's switch to his favoured 3-4-2-1 formation and a record-equalling run of 13 Premier League wins in the same season.

"Honestly I think that we are a different team," the Italian said, recalling the early weeks of his Chelsea tenure. "I think we've grown a lot.

"If you think of the first game against Liverpool and after the game I said, 'Today we faced a really great team but today we are not one'.

"Only through the work could we improve to become a team and I think it happened.

"After the games against Liverpool and then Arsenal we improved a lot our confidence, our identity.

"We fought a lot and for this reason we are on top of the table.

"It is incredible this because it is not easy to have two defeats against Liverpool and Arsenal and to find the strength to get to the top of the table with 13 wins in a row.

"But it happened and I'm pleased for my players because they deserve this."