'Football is full of surprises' - Conte downplays Chelsea's 10 point Premier League lead

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The Blues boss is reluctant to crown his side champions despite a significant lead on their title rivals with 10 matches remaining

Antonio Conte insists Chelsea cannot get carried away despite their 10-point lead at the top of the Premier League.

While Chelsea have lost just three top-flight matches all season, their head coach is determined that they must continue to perform at the same level in the final 10 games of the season.

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Conte does not think the title returning to Stamford Bridge is a foregone conclusion, even if he feels his side would be deserved champions.

"Football is strange. Football is full of surprises," he told a pre-match news conference ahead of facing Crystal Palace on Saturday.

"In my experiences with football, I have won a lot but I think I have lost more. For this reason, I want to keep our feet on the ground. It is very important for me and my players.

"After this type of season, with a lot of difficulties to overcome the problems, I think we deserve to win. But there are 10 games to go and our opponents don't want to accept that Chelsea are champions."

Conte is expecting a tough test against Palace, suggesting their struggles this season, as they battle relegation, echo Chelsea's last term as they toiled just months after winning the title.

"I remember very well playing Crystal Palace," he continued. "Also in that game [a 1-0 win], we deserved to win but we suffered also because Crystal Palace have a lot of very good players.

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"Christian Benteke is a top player, the same with [Wilfried] Zaha, [Andros] Townsend, a player I like a lot, [Yohan] Cabaye and [Jason] Puncheon. If you ask me why they stay in this position, I don't know.

"You see a team with great players in that position, it can happen. Last season, it happened to Chelsea."

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