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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 10 December 2018

Antonio Conte has 'no time for regret' as Chelsea and Tottenham continue battle for Premier League top four

A win for Chelsea will move them level on points with Liverpool with one game remaining, while a victory for Spurs moves them up to third.

Antonio Conte and his side welcome Huddersfield Town to Stamford Bridge knowing a win will keep Chelsea's top four hopes alive. John Sibley / Reuters
Antonio Conte and his side welcome Huddersfield Town to Stamford Bridge knowing a win will keep Chelsea's top four hopes alive. John Sibley / Reuters

Antonio Conte said on Tuesday there is "no time for regret" as Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur continue their bids to secure places in the Premier League top four on Wednesday night.

With two games of the season remaining, third and fourth place in the Premier League remain up for grabs and with them, entry into next season's Uefa Champions League.

Liverpool and Tottenham, currently occupying third and fourth respectively, are in control of their own destinies, but Chelsea have made a late-season surge to force their way into contention.

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Chelsea, last season's champions, were 10 points behind the top four with six matches to go, but a run of four successive wins - including last time out against Liverpool - means they can draw level on points with the Merseyside club if they win their game in hand against Huddersfield Town at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

Tottenham take on Newcastle United at Wembley Stadium knowing a win will lift them above Liverpool into third place.

Should Tottenham defeat Newcastle, Chelsea's recent run of form will count for nothing if Liverpool and Spurs both win their final games of the season on Sunday. Liverpool will host Brighton and Hove Albion while Tottenham entertain Leicester City.

Conte, 48, admitted that missing out on the top four, given Chelsea's late charge, would be difficult to take, but his focus is on the remaining games.

"There is a bit of disappointment because this season we dropped many points in a stupid way," the Italian said. "Now there is no time to regret. We have to play two games, against Huddersfield and Newcastle, and then the final of the FA Cup.

"The situation is not in our hands. Liverpool have to win the last game against Brighton and it's the same for Tottenham. They have two games at home. The only way to put a bit of pressure is to get three points in every game.

"In the last month we did this. We won three games away, Southampton, Burnley and Swansea, and one game at home against Liverpool. We're doing our job in the best way to put pressure on Tottenham and Liverpool."

While there is a feeling of "disappointment" at Chelsea, Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is reflecting on a season of "amazing progression" for his team.

In the two previous seasons, Tottenham mounted sustained title challenges before fading toward the end of the campaigns. This year, however, Spurs sit 23 points behind champions Manchester City, who are on the verge of a record-breaking season.

But the London club are guaranteed third if they win both remaining games. Indeed, should Manchester United lose both of their games - at West Ham United and at home to Watford - Tottenham have an outside chance of finishing second.

"For me, amazing progression," Pochettino said on Tuesday. "You need to compare everything season in context.

"If you analyse all in context, I think it is an amazing season. With two games left, to finish third I think is a massive success.

"For me it is like a marathon to create a team capable to win. It is not a 100-metre sprint. It is 42-kilometre, a long-term development."