Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has described his side’s Premier League clash away to relegation threatened Southampton on Saturday as one of their most important games of the season as the Blues chase a top four place.
Chelsea are on the verge of missing out of next season’s UEFA Champions League as they are fifth on 57 points, 10 points adrift of Tottenham Hotspur who are fourth in the league table.
Southampton are 18th on 28 points with six games left for them and Chelsea.
“The most important game for us right now is tomorrow’s because we want to improve our position,” Conte said during his press conference on Friday.
Conte expressed disbelief that Southampton are battling to avoid relegation despite the quality of players in their team.
“Southampton have great quality in their squad and it’s a surprise to see them where they are in the table,” the Italian added.
Conte hailed summer signing Danny Drinkwater for his effort since joining Chelsea but lamented his injury woes which have affected him in his debut season with the Blues.
“Danny (Drinkwater) is having an unlucky season due to injuries, but he is a good midfielder who he fully trusts.”
And on young central defender Andreas Christensen, the former Juventus boss attributed his struggles due to his age.
He added: “Andreas Christensen is still a young player who is playing at this level for the first time, so it’s understandable that he could be tired.”