Antonio Conte drops team selection hint ahead of Newcastle v Chelsea FC

Newcastle United fans at St James' Park

Away the lads Chelsea will hope a win at Newcastle can secure them an improbable Champions League spot

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The Italian has feuded with Chelsea's hierarchy over their failure to back his transfer plans previous year and has done little to quell the impression he would be willing to leave.

The Blues head into their final Premier League game of the season knowing that they must beat the Magpies to have any hope of snatching a top-four finish this season.

A Liverpool draw however would consign fifth-placed Chelsea to the dubious consolation prize of Europa League football.

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The former Juve boss also discussed how hard the English top flight is, and how "unlucky" Chelsea have been in many games this season.

The west Londoners are unbeaten in the league since losing 3-1 to Tottenham on April 1, having won four of their next six matches to remain in the hunt for the final Champions League spot.

"It [missing out on Champions League football] can happen". In the past, it happened the same. Like their fellow FA Cup finalists, Chelsea have had a hard season, crashing out early from the Champions League and even further off the pace when it came to keeping up with the Premier League Champions, Manchester City.

But a challenging season could finish with a trophy as Conte has taken the Blues to a second straight FA Cup final, with Manchester United the opposition next Saturday. Newcastle, on the other hand, won't be sweating too much as this game doesn't hold too much significance for them in terms of the season's objectives. I think we did this, but I am the last person to judge the club at this moment.

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Wenger's men have yet to take a single point on their travels in 2018 and lost 3-1 away to Leicester City last time out. Since I have arrived here this club has grown on the football front of course but as well on the charity work.

Emenalo is best remembered by many Chelsea fans for the rare interview he granted to the club's in-house TV channel immediately following Jose Mourinho's departure in December 2015, in which he coined the phrase "palpable discord" to describe the toxic atmosphere that had developed between the manager and his players. This is my only worry. I have great respect for everyone.

One boost for Conte ahead of the trip to Newcastle is the return of Thibaut Courtois to selection contention after recovering from a back injury.

Newcastle are a side with little to play for but manager Rafael Benitez, a long-term rival of Conte's especially from their Italy days, will be keen to finish in style after a defeat at Tottenham in midweek.

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