Former Tottenham and England forward Jermain Defoe has confirmed his retirement at the age of 39.

The Sunderland striker, who spent time with Spurs in three different stints, also played for West Ham, Portsmouth, Toronto FC, Bournemouth and Rangers across a two-decade-plus career.

Defoe had been due to play on until the end of the season with the League One club after rejoining from Rangers in January, but confirmed his plans to hang up his boots in a lengthy statement published on social media on Friday.

"After 22 years in the game, I have decided to retire from professional football," he stated.

"It's been a really tough decision, and one I have discussed with my family and those closest to me.

"I made my professional debut at 17 years old in 1999, and I feel now is the right time to bow out. I have had an incredible journey and have met some amazing people in the game.

Initially coming through the youth ranks at Charlton and West Ham, Defoe scored on his debut in the League Cup for the Hammers against Walsall to kick-start a prolific career.

He won a subsequent medal in the same competition for Tottenham in 2008, despite leaving midway through the campaign and missing the final. He was finally presented with the medal in 2018.

Defoe won his only other club honour last year when he helped Rangers to the Scottish Premiership title under former England team-mate Steven Gerrard.

For the Three Lions, he won 57 caps and scored 20 goals, including bagging the winner in a 1-0 victory against Slovenia in the group stage of the 2010 World Cup.

"Football will always remain in my blood, and it gives me great pride and satisfaction to look back on the blessed career that I've had," he added.

"I now look forward to spending some quality time with my friends and family before moving forward on this next chapter in my career.

"Thank you to all the fans from each club I've played for. The love I have received and endured throughout my career will never be forgotten, and I will always have a special bond with you all."

Paul Pogba has one foot out of the door at Manchester United, going on the record this week to say he has been disappointed by his five seasons with the Red Devils.

With his contract set to expire in June, the 29-year-old will have plenty of suitors from all over Europe.

While he is expected to sign with an established Champions League contender, Premier League sides Newcastle United and Aston Villa are reportedly assessing if the France international has any interest in remaining in England.


While away on international duty, Pogba spoke to French media about how his time at Manchester United has fallen short of expectations.

He spoke about how he has been depressed at times throughout his latest near six-year stint in England, and went on to describe the current season as "dead", pointing to his ambition to win trophies in the future.

It seems likely that Pogba's future will be at another club, and while it is widely reported that the favourites to attain Pogba's services are European giants Juventus, Real Madrid or Paris Saint-Germain, The Sun is reporting that Newcastle and Aston Villa are "monitoring the situation".


- According to Calciomercato, Milan are considering a summer move for Chelsea's Jorginho after his agent declared it would be a "dream" to return to Italy. "Today he can play in four or five teams: AC Milan, Inter, Juventus, Roma or Napoli," agent Joao Santos declared this week.

- The Evening Standard is reporting that Declan Rice would prefer to move to Chelsea as opposed to Manchester United after West Ham reportedly placed a £150million price tag on the English midfielder to try and fend off circling clubs.

- Tottenham's Harry Kane was non-committal when asked about his future at the club, with The Daily Mirror reporting there is interest in reuniting the striker with former boss Mauricio Pochettino if he is to secure the top job at Manchester United.

- UOL is reporting that Barcelona are set to make it a three-horse race for young Ajax star Antony after Dani Alves recommended the Barca hierarchy should match the bids of Liverpool and Bayern Munich.

Dejan Kulusevski says his time at Tottenham has been a "breath of fresh air" after a "frustrating" period with Juventus.

Kulusevski joined Tottenham in January on an initial 18-month loan deal, which includes an obligation to buy if certain objectives are met.

The Sweden international signed for Juve in a €35million deal in January 2020 and spent the rest of that season – which ended with him crowned Serie's A's Best Young Player – on loan with Parma.

He made 47 appearances in his sole full campaign at the Allianz Stadium, with only Adrien Rabiot featuring as many times for the Serie A giants.

Kulusevski scored seven goals and assisted six more across all competitions in an encouraging first year in Turin, but he had been directly involved in just five goals in 27 outings this campaign.

Of those 27 games under Massimiliano Allegri – the joint-third most of any Juve player – just seven were starts, with the versatile attacker dropping down the pecking order.

Kulusevski has impressed since his arrival at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, scoring twice and claiming four assists in nine Premier League appearances. Indeed, only Harry Kane and Son Heung-min have created more goals (both five) for Spurs than him all season in the English top flight.

"Things can change so quickly for a player," Kulusevski told reporters ahead of Sweden's World Cup play-off semi-final against Czech Republic on Thursday.

"There were many things at Juventus that weren't working and it was very frustrating. I played one match a month always in a new position. My body did not feel good, I did not feel physically strong.

"At Tottenham, there's a breath of fresh air. I have a better rapport with the coach, I was trained better and my physique has improved."

Tottenham are next in action on April 3 when they host Newcastle United in the Premier League. 

Tottenham defender Eric Dier is appreciating the impact Antonio Conte has had on his game as he explained he feels 2021-22 has been his most consistent season.

Dier has featured in 26 Premier League games for Spurs this season, starting each of those matches.

Of those league appearances, 19 have come under Conte, with the 28-year-old only missing three top-flight games due to a thigh injury sustained in January.

No Tottenham player has featured in more defensive clean sheets than Dier's 11 in the league this season, while his 95 clearances is also way ahead of any team-mate, with Emerson Royal ranked second on 51.

Harry Kane is the only Spurs player to win more aerial duels than Dier's 52, with the centre-back making a team-high 60 headed clearances.

Only Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (1,885) has attempted more passes than Dier (1,616) for Spurs, with the latter tasked with helping to build attacking moves from his position in the centre of Conte's back three.

Dier turned in another strong display as Spurs beat West Ham 3-1 on Sunday to move to within three points of fourth-placed Arsenal, and though he has missed out on Gareth Southgate's 25-man squad for England's fixtures this month, Conte believes the former Sporting CP defender will go to the World Cup in Qatar this year.

The centre-back is encouraged by Conte's support, as he went on to claim he is playing his best football since he arrived at the club in 2014, when he enjoyed a brilliant breakout season under Mauricio Pochettino.

"I feel for me this is consistently my best season I have had so far at Tottenham, not just as a defender but overall," Dier told the Evening Standard.

"I don't think I've ever shown the consistency in the performances that I have shown this season and I feel like my football is the best it has been in my opinion.

"It is always very nice when a manager, especially one like him, says those things, it gives me a lot of confidence, but the thing I pay most attention to from his words are that I have a lot of space for improvement and I think that is really the thing he says that I focus on the most.

"I want to fill that space, fill that potential, as much as possible, as much as he thinks possible."

Son Heung-min said the only downside to Tottenham's Premier League win over West Ham was that Harry Kane drew another blank in front of goal.

A 3-1 victory lifted Spurs to fifth place in the Premier League, three points behind north London rivals Arsenal, with Son hitting a fine double.

Kane and Son combined to cause the panic that prompted Kurt Zouma to put the ball into his own net early on, before wreaking more havoc at the heart of West Ham's defence.

A sumptuous throughball from Kane set up Son to make it 2-0, before Said Benrahma pulled one back.

In the 88th minute, Kane flicked on a long kick from Hugo Lloris and Son dashed through to finish off West Ham.

It means Kane has managed a competition-high 19 assists in the Premier League since the start of last season, though he has hit only four league goals at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this term.

The England captain has now been involved in 50 goals in Premier League London derbies (39 goals, 11 assists), becoming just the third player to reach this milestone after Thierry Henry (55) and Frank Lampard (50).

Kane has assisted Son 20 times for goals in the Premier League, with only Lampard (24 to Didier Drogba) and David Silva (21 to Sergio Aguero) having teed up a single team-mate more often in the competition's history.

"The relationship with Harry, I've spoken about it more than 100 times now," Son said on Sky Sports.

"It's incredible to have this striker alongside me and I feel sorry for him today that he didn't score.

"He looked sad, obviously as a striker, and I feel sad as well for him because I want him to score so many goals, and you want everything as a team-mate and as a friend."

Kane hit a double at home against Everton earlier this month, but his luck was out against West Ham, although he made his presence felt with his creative skills.

As a result, Tottenham are firmly in the hunt for a top-four finish and Champions League football next season.

"From the start of the game we played really well; especially in the first half we created so many chances," Son added.

"It's a massive, massive three points before the international break, so we are really happy."

Spurs have won four of their last five Premier League games now, and reaching the Champions League is looking a real possibility again.

An FA Cup exit to Middlesbrough came early in Tottenham's recent strong league run, and that meant that coming into this game they had not won back-to-back games across all competitions since December.

They have now banished that particular demon and Son recognised the importance of doing so.

"We haven't wanted to speak about this situation," he said. "To bounce back is always so, so important, for your confidence as well, and your rhythm."

Son Heung-min and Harry Kane turned on the derby style in a 3-1 win over West Ham as Tottenham jumped to fifth place in the Premier League.

The pair created the chaos that resulted in an early Kurt Zouma own goal, before teaming up again when Kane's pass teed up Son to put the hosts two ahead.

Said Benrahma hauled West Ham back in the game, but David Moyes' men could not find a leveller and Son finished them off in the 88th minute.

A fourth win in five Premier League games means Tottenham are now ahead of the Hammers and Manchester United, albeit three points adrift of great rivals Arsenal in fourth. In Kane and Son, Spurs have two of the best, and they could yet carry Antonio Conte's team into the Champions League.

Tottenham snatched a ninth-minute lead when Zouma turned the ball past Lukasz Fabianski after Kane tried to pick out Son, who should have made it 2-0 soon after only to fizz wide.

Son made no such mistake at the next time of asking, finding the back of the net after a delicious throughball from Kane, the striker's fierce left-footed shot taking a telling deflection off Zouma on its way in.

Benrahma volleyed West Ham back into it in the 35th minute after Craig Dawson headed on Aaron Cresswell's corner from the left.

Fabianski did well to smother a Kane shot early in the second half, before Dejan Kulusevski whipped a strike too high as Tottenham kept pushing for a third, and it came when Kane and Son inevitably combined again.

Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris booted the ball long for Kane to flick on for Son, who ran beyond the West Ham defence and rammed gleefully past Fabianski.

Manchester United's hopes of silverware this season are officially over and focus is now turning towards the 2022-23 campaign.

The Red Devils are left focusing on their top-four battle in the Premier League following elimination to Atletico Madrid in the Champions League last 16 this week.

That has surely ended Ralf Rangnick's hopes of landing the managerial position full time, though it remains to be seen who will be in the Old Trafford hot seat come next term.


The likes of Mauricio Pochettino, Erik ten Hag and Thomas Tuchel have each been touted as contenders to replace Rangnick, but another name may now be in the frame.

According to Spanish outlet Fichajes, Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui is also being considered for one of the top positions in world football.

Lopetegui has previously managed Real Madrid and the Spain national team and is in his third season with Sevilla, whom he remains under contract with until 2024.


- Newcastle United intend to splash the cash when the transfer window reopens at the end of the season and, according to Fichajes, Paris Saint-Germain superstar Neymar is in their sights. The Brazil international was jeered by his own supporters during last week's win against Bordeaux.

- After two years with Tottenham, Fabrizio Romano claims that left-back Sergio Reguilon could be on his way back to Spain in the coming months. Barcelona are said to be monitoring his situation, while Madrid have a buy-back clause of around €40million.

- It could be a busy transfer window for Madrid, who have also been strongly linked with PSG forward Mbappe and Borussia Dortmund's in-demand striker Erling Haaland. However, Goal reports that Los Blancos are losing hope of beating Manchester City to the signature of the latter.

- Man City midfielder Rodri has another three years to run on his contract, but The Telegraph suggests that the Premier League leaders are eager to tie the midfielder down to an even longer deal, with talks between the two parties ongoing.

- La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Nikola Milenkovic is on the radar of Inter and Man Utd. Inter are said to have made the Fiorentina and Serbia defender one of their primary targets, while United had scouts present to watch him against Bologna last week.

At the start of the Premier League season, if you were to talk about a London derby that could be crucial for both teams in the race for Champions League qualification, you might guess it would be Chelsea against either Arsenal or Tottenham.

That West Ham are still in the conversation for the top four as we approach late March is impressive in itself, but that they have done so while having the added distraction of a Europa League run just adds further credit to the bank for David Moyes' men.

There are no such distractions for Spurs, who host the Hammers on Sunday, with both eager to win and get closer to fourth in the table.

Antonio Conte's men go into the game behind West Ham on goal difference, having played a game fewer, while both sit two points behind Manchester United in fifth and three behind Arsenal in fourth.

Ahead of what should be a fascinating encounter in the capital, Stats Perform has taken a look at some key facts.

Kane to continue bashing Hammers?

Harry Kane has had an odd season, scoring just once in his first 15 games in the league, before plundering 11 in 14 top-flight appearances since.

The England captain also has a tremendous record against West Ham, scoring eight in his six home league games against them – the most home goals he has scored against a specific opponent in the competition.

However, Hammers striker Michail Antonio has scored more Premier League goals against Tottenham than he has against any other opponent in the competition (six), three of which have been the winning goal in 1-0 victories, including in the reverse fixture this season.


Spurs must avoid more derby misery

Tottenham have lost five of their seven Premier League London derby matches this season (W2), last losing more in a single campaign back in 2004-05 (seven).

In fact, their six points accumulated is the fewest of any other side in Premier League London derbies in the current campaign.

West Ham, on the other hand, have won three of their last four derbies in the league (L1), as many as they had in their previous 12 such games (D5 L4).

Only Chelsea (18) have earned more points in London derbies this season.


Moyes must rediscover form on the road

It has been a memorable season for West Ham so far, including a famous European night at the London Stadium on Thursday as they knocked Sevilla out of the Europa League to reach the quarter-finals.

However, despite a very good start to the campaign, they have come unstuck in away games in the Premier League.

Having won four and drawn one of their first five away games in the league this season (13 points), the Hammers have since won just twice in nine on the road, drawing two and losing five (eight points).

Go on, my Son

With all the deserved plaudits Kane gets, it can sometimes feel like Son Heung-min gets a bit ignored despite being one of the best players in European football.

Son has been in fine form as Spurs have tried to force their way back into the top four, and has been involved in seven goals in his last seven Premier League home games (six goals, one assist).

Overall this season, he has scored twice as many home league goals as any other Spurs player (eight).


Antonio Conte called on Mikel Arteta to remember the postponed clash between Tottenham and Arsenal, after the Gunners' manager fumed at the Premier League schedule.

Arteta vented his frustration after a 2-0 loss to Liverpool on Wednesday, sarcastically thanking the league for their scheduling, which sees Arsenal visit Aston Villa in Saturday's early kick-off.

Arsenal also face Chelsea and Manchester United in quick succession next month, on April 20 and 23, and the Spaniard doubled down on his comments ahead of the clash with Villa.

Arteta suggested "we've been the only team that has been scheduled like that", citing the short turnaround time as a problem for players' welfare heading into the crunch period of the season.

Spurs head coach Conte was quick to remind his north London rival of the situation in January that left Tottenham "extremely surprised" following the postponement of the derby with Arsenal, who were granted a rearrangement due to COVID-19, injuries and the Africa Cup of Nations leaving them with a "depleted squad".

When asked about Arteta's recent comments, Conte told Friday's pre-match news conference: "Arteta should remember the game postponed, Tottenham-Arsenal.

"In general, I think my answer is enough. If someone wants to think about fair or unfair. We postponed the game, Tottenham-Arsenal. I don't forget this. And it's not right to speak about fair or unfair."

Spurs host fellow top-four chasers West Ham on Sunday, currently sitting three points behind fourth-placed Arsenal, who have played one game fewer.

While Conte believes the meeting with David Moyes' side may be too soon for Oliver Skipp, the Italian hopes to have the midfielder back after the international break.

"About Skippy, I hope to have him after the international break," Conte said. "His pain is getting better and better.

"About Ryan [Sessegnon], we're waiting for weeks to have another scan and then if everything is OK he'll restart training sessions with us."

The former Inter and Chelsea coach was also keen to praise Cristian Romero, who he feels will be a key player with the right guidance.

"Cristian is a player who has to be focused in every moment of a game," he added. "If he's good, he's focused from the start, from the first to last second of the game and he's a really important player for us.

"He has a bit to improve in this situation, to be focused on every moment of the game. Sometimes he gets a yellow card he can avoid. He has to improve in this aspect, to be focused from the start to the end.

"Sometimes you can't explain this in a good manner - you have to shout! But he's a good guy and he understands that what I do is always best for the team and himself.

"He has quality to be a great defender so it's important to find the right way to improve the player."

Tottenham defender Japhet Tanganga has been ruled out for the rest of the season after undergoing surgery on his right knee, the club has confirmed.

Tanganga has not played since January following the injury and will now not return to action until the start of the 2022-23 campaign for the north London outfit.

"Japhet Tanganga has undergone surgery on his right knee and will be out for the remainder of the season," the club confirmed in an official statement.

"The England Under-21 international will undergo a period of recovery and is expected to return to training during the pre-season period."

Harry Kane becoming the leading Premier League scorer of away goals has been hailed an “outstanding achievement” by Tottenham boss Antonio Conte.

The England captain surpassed Wayne Rooney by netting for the 95th time away from home in the English top-flight during Spurs’ 2-0 victory over Brighton and Hove Albion.

After Cristian Romero gave the visitors the lead at the Amex Stadium, Kane sealed the point onto Rodrigo Bentancur’s throughball before slotting past Robert Sanchez.

Despite enduring a slow start to the campaign, the striker took his goal tally to 22 across all competitions, and Conte heaped praise on the 28-year-old.

"It is an outstanding achievement for him, but we are talking about a world-class striker," the head coach said. 

"I am pleased for Harry to score in this way because at the start of the season, he struggled a bit and didn't score a lot and now he knows very well with this team, he has great opportunities to score in every game.

"To have a striker like him makes us stronger but at the same time, his feeling now is positive because he knows he will have chances."

Victory at the Amex moved Tottenham to within three points of fourth-placed Arsenal with 10 games remaining.

And Conte was thrilled by the efforts of his players, who recorded a first away win over Brighton since September 2018.

"I am very pleased for a good performance and because we got three points," the Italian continued.

"It is the final part of the season, and it is vital to get three points. We want to stay very close to the top to see what will happen at the end of the season.

"In my opinion, we are playing very well and improving a lot with the ball and also tonight, we also showed solidity defensively."

Kane added: "I was really pleased to get the goal and help the team win the match. Milestones are great especially away from home. 

"It is always tough, so to know you can do it year-on-year against tough opposition is nice, but it is all about the team and working hard. 

"We got ahead in the game, and then I think we controlled it. Overall, it was a really good night away from home.

"We played good football; we just have to keep winning games."

Tottenham boosted their Premier League top-four hopes with a 2-0 victory over Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium.

Goals from Cristian Romero and Harry Kane moved Antonio Conte's side to within three points of fourth-placed Arsenal – although that margin will increase should the Gunners avoid defeat against Liverpool later on Wednesday.

Romero opened his Tottenham account in the 37th minute when he diverted Dejan Kulusevski's effort past Robert Sanchez.

Kane doubled the visitors' lead and sealed the points 12 minutes after the break; becoming the Premier League's all-time leading away scorer as he netted his 95th such goal from 139 appearances.

Aiming to end a run of five successive defeats, Brighton almost gifted their opponents the lead inside five minutes.

After taking a heavy touch way outside his penalty area, Sanchez's attempted clearance was charged down by Kane. Despite having an empty goal to aim at, the England captain could only drag wide from a tight angle.

The visitors enjoyed over 56 per cent of the possession during the first half and eventually made their superiority tell eight minutes before the break.

Following a patient build-up, the well-placed Romero deflected Kulusevski's low first-time shot beyond Sanchez for his maiden Tottenham goal.

Kulusevski was presented with a tremendous opportunity to double the lead as he capitalised on Shane Duffy's loose header soon after, but Sanchez was quickly out to deny the Juventus loanee.

Tottenham did get their second goal following a quickfire counter in the 57th minute. Rodrigo Bentancur's throughball released Kane, who neatly slotted home.

Sanchez prevented Sergio Reguilon from increasing the advantage, but the visitors held on to claim a first win at the Amex Stadium since September 2018.

Harry Kane has broken the record for most Premier League goals scored away from home after netting in Tottenham's clash at Brighton and Hove Albion on Wednesday.

The 28-year-old put Spurs 2-0 up at the Amex Stadium, and in the process moved to 95 goals from 139 away appearances, and ahead of Wayne Rooney's 94 in the competition.

Kane surpassed the former Manchester United and Everton striker's benchmark despite having played in 104 fewer such games in the competition.

The next four from the England captain in the ranking - Rooney, Alan Shearer, Frank Lampard and Andrew Cole - all made over 200 appearances in the EPL.

With the goal, Kane also moved to 12 goals in the Premier League and 22 in all competitions for the year.

Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte insists he would be "crazy" to consider dropping Son Heung-min amid suggestions of fatigue and a drop in form.

Spurs sit eighth in the Premier League ahead of a clash at Brighton and Hove Albion, following a 3-2 defeat at fellow top-four contenders Manchester United that leaves them six points behind fourth-placed Arsenal.

Conte's north London rivals have also played a game less, while Spurs have lost five of their last eight Premier League games (W3) – as many as they had in their previous 20 in the competition (W12 D3).

Son has been on target in his side's last two wins, a 5-0 thrashing of Everton coupled with a 4-0 hammering of Leeds United, yet there remain questions over the South Korea international's form.

Since a four-game scoring run in the league across December, Son has found the net three times in nine top-flight outings – taking his tally 11 goals in 24 games this season, along with five assists.

Those returns are far from underwhelming but Conte was forced to defend his forward at his pre-match news conference after being pressed on Son's fitness levels and performances.

"For me, Sonny is an important player that can change a result at the end of a game." Conte told reporters. "It can happen that a player's form goes from the best to a period that is not so well.

"I repeat, because we are talking about a player that plays in every game. He is playing well, it doesn't depend on if a player scores a goal or not, the performance is the total game.

"Sonny is a player that in my mind fits my ideas, and also with the commitment he shows, he has to start and I don't ever have any idea to drop him – it doesn't happen, I'm not crazy to do something like this."

Conte will be hoping his star duo Harry Kane and Son can combine to down Graham Potter's Brighton in Wednesday's Premier League contest.

The pair have linked up a Premier League record 37 times since Son arrived from Bayer Leverkusen in August 2015, with 20 of those combinations coming on the road in the English top flight.

Whether Son can get in on the act once more at Brighton remains to be seen, but Kane could become the Premier League's all-time leading scorer in away games with a strike at the Amex Stadium – currently sitting on 94 goals in 138 outings.

Antonio Conte wants to see Tottenham stars Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Hugo Lloris to step up and carry them to a top-four finish.

Kane was on target on Saturday against Manchester United but Spurs fell to a 3-2 defeat at their fellow Champions League contenders, leaving them six points behind fourth-placed Arsenal, who have played a game fewer.

That was Tottenham's fifth loss in eight Premier League games, as many as they had in their previous 20 in the competition (W12 D3), and Conte's side are now outsiders in the top-four race.

Ahead of a clash at Brighton and Hove Albion on Wednesday, Conte called on his captain Lloris and attacking duo Kane and Son to lead the charge for a spot in England's top four.

"If you want to have a hope to fight until the end for this type of target, this is the moment I have to ask a lot to the big players," he said.

"To Harry, Hugo and Sonny. These players have to lead the situation to keep us until the end there.

"At the moment, experience is very important. We don't have a lot of experience in this team and it's right to ask the players with experience and big talent to give everything.

"I think they're giving everything but 100 per cent is not enough. We need to ask 120, 130 per cent to have this type of target.

"It will be very important to have people with great talent to lead us until the end and to try to be very close to reach this target."

If Kane answers Conte's calls to deliver at the Amex Stadium, with another strike he will become the Premier League's all-time highest goalscorer on the road in the competition’s history – currently sitting on 94 goals in 138 away games.

Conte also has a 100 per cent top-flight win record against Brighton, winning both games in 2017-18 with Chelsea, but he expects Graham Potter's side to pose a tough test.

"We're talking about a really good team, a really good team honestly," he said of Brighton. "This team likes to play football, they're strong physically. They're dynamic, they're strong at set-pieces.

"They are having a really good season apart from this last period when they lost [four] games in a row. Otherwise, in the table we were very close.

"We have to know that the game will be very difficult. I have watched the game against Liverpool and in the first half Brighton deserved to score goals and get another result against Liverpool.

"It's important in tough games, as a top team, with the experience you manage these games. Then you bring a difficult game on your side. It happened in the game between Brighton and Liverpool because I thought Brighton played a really good game."

Arsenal host Liverpool the following day and Conte believes that his north London rivals are currently favourites for Champions League qualification.

"I think that in this moment, Arsenal seems favourite for fourth place and United, but don't forget there's also West Ham and don't forget Wolves," Conte added. "They're having a fantastic season and they're in the same position.

"In England it's not easy, it's not simple. When you start the season normally you think it's four top clubs that at the end, these four teams go to the Champions League, United, [Manchester] City, Chelsea, Liverpool.

"But last season Liverpool struggled to reach their place in the Champions League. This season it's happening to United. This league is very difficult.

"For sure we have to be in the group of teams who stay, at this moment, behind.

"You have to stay close in the table because there are 11 games to the end of the season and everything can happen. For sure you have to win. If you don't get three points, you are talking about nothing."

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