Antonio Conte says Chelsea finishing in top four would be a success

Jonathan Hernandez
December 30, 2017

Chelsea will look to end the year on a high with a Premier League win against Stoke City at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, with second-place in their sights.

It is now five matches unbeaten for Chelsea and their 2-0 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion on Boxing Day took them within a point of second-placed Manchester United in the league. Stoke (13th, 20 points): Stoke may be 13th but is just a win above the relegation zone. Here's a chance to do just that.

Chelsea are now third in table, 16 points behind clear leaders Manchester City, but have closed the gap to Manchester United in second to just a point.

"I am very happy to stay here and to work with these players, but I think the transfer window is important if we are to find the right players", Conte said on Friday. Not only did the Spanish striker bag a hat-trick against them back in September, but he opened the scoring in their most recent match against Brighton and last week came off the bench to salvage a late win against Bournemouth.

It will be a big ask for a makeshift Stoke defence to keep Alvaro Morata and bay, particularly as Chelsea have won six home league games in a row at Stamford Bridge.

"There are many competitions and we must be very proud to play every game".

The west London side, who won the title in style last term, are now in third place in the Premier League table as they look to try and get ahead of Manchester United in second. "We are going to have to call upon a few players and they are going to have to step up".

On-loan France global Kurt Zouma is ineligible to play against his parent club, while former Chelsea defender Glen Johnson is out with a knee injury.

Stoke City team news: In addition to fixture congestion, Stoke are dealing with a minor defensive crisis as Ryan Shawcross and Bruno Martins Indi are both out, Kurt Zouma is ineligible to face his parent club, and Erik Pieters is facing a late fitness test.

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