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Crunch EPL week for Chelsea: Spurs boss

Press Association logoPress Association 30/01/2017 Philip Duncan

The English Premier League title race will be all but over if Chelsea win their next two matches against Liverpool and Arsenal, says Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Pochettino, whose Spurs side face bottom-of-the-table Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday, is likely to have one eye on how Chelsea fare at Liverpool.

Antonio Conte's side will see their title credentials firmly tested, first at Anfield, and then five days later when they host rivals Arsenal at Stamford Bridge.

But Pochettino believes victory in both matches could be enough for Chelsea to clinch the title.

"If we win both of our games against Sunderland and then Middlesbrough, we keep the same gap to Chelsea and there are lots of games ahead," Pochettino said.

"We will see what happens, but if Chelsea are able to win both games it will be difficult to stop them.

"I think we need to be focused on our game, and it's not a decisive one. The most important thing is to get the three points for us."

Pochettino will welcome back striker Harry Kane for their visit to Sunderland.

Kane, who has netted 15 times this season, was among nine changes made by Pochettino for the visit of Wycombe Wanderers in the FA Cup last Saturday.

Trailing 3-2 with only seconds remaining, Spurs looked set to be on the end of a huge cup shock.

But substitute Deli Alli drew the hosts level in the 89th minute before Son Heung-min netted the winner with virtually the last kick of the game.

"A lot of things can happen around a team and you sometimes need to take decisions," said Pochettino, as he explained why he rested so many key players for the fourth-round tie.

"It's easy to criticise, and maybe some people that criticise our decision, if they are in our position would do the same. The fans want to win, the players too, but sometimes for many reasons it's too difficult.

"I think England is special for that situation. In Spain and France it is different. If you make changes for Copa del Rey or Coupe de France it's okay, but here if you don't win you are dead.

"We are now in a good position in the FA Cup, the Europa League, and the Premier League. We will try to manage the three competitions and try in the end to be successful in all three, two, or one."

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