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Antonio Conte has heaped praise on his former side Chelsea ahead of the Premier League clash against Spurs this weekend at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea host Tottenham Hotspur in west London on Sunday afternoon in the second game of the 2022/23 season, with both sides hoping to maintain their 100 per cent start.
Conte brings his side across the capital aiming to end the club’s dismal record away to the Blues - they have not won a game at Stamford Bridge since their 3-1 win back in 2018.
Conte was asked whether the gap was closing to Chelsea following their summer spend, and he was coy to answer fully, however was full of praise for Tuchel and co, as well as the investment made by the new owners.
He said in his pre-match press conference on Friday: “I don't know (if the gap has closed), I'm not a journalist. I think you can tell this much better than me. If I have to reduce the gap, I need to work with the team.
“Last season, we played three games after only two months since I arrived. Now we've had seven months plus one month of pre-season.
“I think the work we implement that as a team we're better than last season.
"Then the transfer market is for us and for Chelsea, but the most important thing is not only to sign players, which is important especially when you have to face four competitions you have to have a good squad in the numerical aspect but also to try to improve the quality, and I think we did this.
“But I think Chelsea is one of the best teams in England and Europe.
"Two years ago they won the Champions League and last season they won the World Cup as a club. I was there, I know the investment that they do every season.”
Conte was full of plaudits for Chelsea, as was Tuchel for Spurs. He believes Spurs are now title contenders since the Italian has arrived in north London.
The Chelsea head coach added: "I think that every team Antonio Conte trains is a title contender. It's always like this, in every country with every team.
"They strengthened their squad, they strengthened in their depth, and they have a very demanding coach with an incredible record in domestic titles.
"He will push them to the limit and any team with this kind of quality management, which pushes players to the limit, can over-perform and fight for the top four.
"And if you fight for the top four, you fight for everything. If you're still in the race in March, you're fighting for everything.
"It's a long way to go and he will never admit it, but for me, an Antonio Conte team fights for everything."