Antonio Conte fires top four warning to Manchester United as Tottenham look to push advantage

Antonio Conte has fired a warning to Manchester United as Tottenham look to push home their advantage in the race for the top four.

Spurs currently hold a three-point lead over nearest rivals Arsenal in the battle for the final coveted Champions League spot with just seven games to go in the season. Their advantage over United is even greater, with six points separating the Reds from fourth.

United’s hopes of catching Tottenham look to be all-but over, with Ralf Rangnick’s side relying on Spurs slipping up at least twice in their final run-in. The north London side also have a more favourable fixture list to contend with than the Reds, placing even more of an advantage on their side.

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Conte’s side though are far from secure in fourth. Their north London rivals still hold a game in hand to close the gap on them, while they will also have to face the Gunners before the end of the season.

Their fate is firmly in their own hands though, and while United and Arsenal have slipped up in recent weeks, Spurs have made no such mistakes since returning from the international break. And Conte was in a determined mood as he spoke to the media ahead of his side’s meeting with Brighton this weekend.

“I say to you now that the team is ready, ready to fight until the end in this race,” Conte said at his pre-match press conference. “This race is not easy, it’s very important because to finish in the top four would mean a very good result for the club.

“We watched (this week) how important it is to play Champions League, how fascinating these types of games are, and I’m sure there is a great desire in my players to be protagonists in this competition, but we know very well there are other teams who are very strong – Arsenal, United, West Ham, Wolverhampton are in this same race with us, but we want to fight until the end and we will see what happens at the end of the season.”

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