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Alonso primed for Spurs showdown

Marcos Alonso has warned his Chelsea team-mates recent history will count for little as they aim to maintain their winning run in the Premier League against Tottenham next weekend.

A first-half Diego Costa goal gave Antonio Conte’s men a 1-0 win over Middlesbrough on Sunday, sending the Stamford Bridge outfit to the top of the table – one point above Liverpool and Manchester City.

Spurs are up next this Saturday, returning to a ground where they have failed to win since 1990 for the first time since Eden Hazard’s equaliser in a 2-2 draw ended their title aspirations in May.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side must first travel to Monaco in the Champions League, while Chelsea – absent from European competition this term – will have a chance to rest.

“In three days you can recover, very well, but maybe it can be an advantage for us,” Alonso told reporters.

“We have to think game-by-game, and now we have Tottenham at home. It is going to be a massive three points for us and we have to rest now and then start getting ready for Saturday.

“Lots of people [say how big this game is], more than the players – it is the fans, [who tell me]. I know they always remind me that this London derby is special and hopefully we can get the three points on Saturday.

“I don’t like statistics but hopefully we can keep winning at home against them.”

A statistic in Alonso’s favour is Chelsea winning six out of six without conceding a goal in the league since Conte brought him into his starting line-up and turned to a 3-4-3 formation that has yielded remarkable results.

“It is something I have been working for. I am very happy to be here, helping the team and now I am just looking forward to next week, another tough game,” he added.

“The most important thing is the team is doing well. I think we are playing good football. I’m happy to be there helping the team every week. We just have to keep working hard to stay up there.

“I think with the players we have now and the way we are playing and the way we go into the game with the right focus and concentration, it’s very hard to beat us at the moment. If we keep playing like this then it will be tough for other teams. We just have to work hard and keep doing the hard work during the week.”

Mon 21 Nov, 2016
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