Chelsea V West Brom at Stamford Bridge : Match Preview

09 December 2016
Chelsea V West Brom - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Manager Antonio Conte finds it hard to believe Chelsea are title favourites

Antonio Conte insists it is "difficult to accept" Chelsea as Premier League title favourites, despite their crushing 3-1 win at Manchester City last weekend.

The wary Blues boss believes he will have a clearer picture of Chelsea's title chances at the end of the hectic Christmas schedule.

Conte was at pains to point out that Chelsea started the season as "underdogs", so has refused to countenance installing the west London outfit as league favourites despite his men topping the table.

Chelsea host West Brom at Stamford Bridge on Sunday with Conte desperate to ram home the message that his players must maintain a steely focus.

Asked if the win at City leaves Chelsea as title favourites, Conte said: "It's difficult to accept this, because I think we have played only 14 games, and to finish that first part of the season, there is the second part.

"We started as underdogs this season, and I think now it's very difficult to accept this, but it's normal if you're playing good football and winning a lot of games.

"It's important to continue, that from this win we don't lose our hunger."

John Terry has not recovered from his gluteal strain so will miss the West Brom tussle, but Nemanja Matic has beaten a calf problem.

Conte added: "Sunday is the type of game we can find difficult if we don't put the same concentration, the same focus, that we had in the previous games."

James Morrison and Gareth McAuley are doubts for West Brom.

The pair have not trained this week as they are suffering with what boss Tony Pulis described as knocks and will be assessed ahead of the game.

Saido Berahino continues to train with the squad but is unlikely to feature as he regains fitness. He has not played since September, with the club having already sent him to France for a personal fitness camp.

West Brom entered the weekend sitting seventh in the Premier League after three wins from their last four games but Pulis played down their chances of qualifying for Europe.

He said: "Let's get through the tough Christmas period, with difficult games coming up, starting with Chelsea on Sunday and then we've got Swansea, Man United and Arsenal too. They're really tough games, great games to play, full houses over the festive period."

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