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Antonio Conte has saluted “unstoppable” Manchester City as the Chelsea manager prepares for Sunday’s clash with the runaway Premier League leaders.
Conte’s reigning champions head to Manchester lagging 22 points behind City and look certain to have to surrender the title to Pep Guardiola’s men.
City have been riding high all season and face Chelsea on the back of successive 3-0 drubbings of Arsenal in last weekend’s League Cup final and then the Premier League on Thursday.
Sitting 16 points clear of second-placed Manchester United, it is only a matter of time before City are crowned champions and Blues boss Conte acknowledged their rivals’ quality makes them almost impossible to beat.
“In this moment they seem unstoppable,” Conte told reporters on Friday.
“We must have great admiration for this team because they are having a fantastic path in this season.
“Sometimes it’s very difficult to find a weakness in this team.”
City finished third, 15 points behind Chelsea, in Guardiola’s first season in charge, but now are champions elect.
Asked the reason for the turnaround in such a short space of time, Conte’s answer hinted at his season-long frustration with Chelsea following a series of reported disagreements with the club’s hierarchy over transfer policy.
“When you work very well and there is a great feeling between the manager and the club, you can work in the way