The bad news is that the gap at the top is once again down to four points.
The good news is that the gap at the top will be at least four points heading into the final six matches of the season, four of which will see Chelsea play home matches against Southampton, Middlesbrough, Watford, and Sunderland — two teams essentially relegated already and two teams safe in midfield with very little left to fight for. Meanwhile, Spurs are in the exact opposite boat, with four away and two home matches left for them this season. They do look unbeatable at the moment, but so did Chelsea once, and not even that long ago.
Speaking of unbeatable, Manchester United are now unbeaten in 21 Premier League matches on the bounce (since losing to Chelsea 4-0 in October), albeit with almost as many draws as wins and dropped points in five of their last six home games, which makes that streak a rather academic record.
One more streak of note on the line in this game is Chelsea’s 12-match unbeaten run versus Manchester United in all competitions. Not since the 3-2 reverse at Stamford Bridge in 2012 have United triumphed over the Blues.
Oh okay, one more bonus streak: N’Golo Kanté has scored in both previous meetings with Manchester United this season — his only two goals of the entire campaign.
None of those truly matter today of course. What matters, as Conte will tell anyone willing to listen, is the work, the fight, the concentration, and the passion.
Date / Time: Sunday, April 16, 16:00 BST; 11am EDT; 8:30pm IST
Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester, England, England ‘cross the Atlantic Sea
Referee: Robert Madley (yikes!)
Forecast: Rainy, chilly
On TV: Sky Sport 1 (UK); NBCSN, Telemundo (USA); Star Sports Select HD1 (India); elsewhere
Streaming online: Sky Go (UK); NBC Sports Live Extra (USA); Hotstar (India)
Manchester United team news: In moves reminiscent of 2013-14, when he continually talked down our title chances (only for that self-fulfilling prophecy to come true with Chelsea throwing away a title in the final few weeks), Mourinho has talked down his team’s chances of finishing in the top four, even as that is still well within their reach. Let’s call it expectation management.
you guys know Mourinho is gonna go with the track suit tomorrow, right?— amadí (@amadoit__) April 15, 2017
Despite being hardly bothered to even play this thing, Jose will no doubt field his strongest available lineup, which will not include the injured trio of Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, or Juan Mata.
Chelsea team news: Everyone is fit, everyone is confident, everyone is ready to see this thing through as we head into the final month and the final handful or so games.
Chelsea have not lost away from Stamford Bridge since the very first game of the 2017 calendar year at White Hart Lane (five wins, two draws in all competitions).
Previously: The reverse fixture was certainly a memorable occasion.