Antonio Conte

In the latest Chelsea news, boss Antonio Conte says he wants his players to continue to strive for a top-four finish in the Premier League until it is no longer possible.

The Blues are currently eight points behind fourth-placed Tottenham, with five games left to play, and are currently 20/1 with BoyleSports to sneak a Champions League spot.

The west Londoners’ defeat to Spurs at the start of the month looked to have ended Chelsea’s chances of qualifying for Europe’s Premier club competition, but Conte is refusing to throw in the towel.

Chelsea can trim Tottenham’s advantage if they win Thursday’s game at Burnley and the Italian says he wants to see his players fight for every point.

“We have to try until the end to reach this target [of a top-four finish]. If we want to be realistic, with five games to go, it is not simple to reduce the gap. But we must have the will to fight, the desire to take this target,” Conte told his pre-match press conference.

“We have an important game against Burnley, a really strong team. They are having a fantastic season and it won’t be easy to get three points.

“We have to try and do our best and to try and avoid what happened in the first 60 minutes against Southampton.”

Conte didn’t divulge whether or not Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final against Southampton would play a part in his thinking over team selection for the clash with Burnley.

The Clarets won at Chelsea on the opening weekend of the season and come into this fixture on a five-match winning streak in the Premier League.

Conte says it would be foolish to underestimate the challenge Burnley pose and insists he will name a team he believes should be strong enough to win at Turf Moor.

“Tomorrow we have a really tough game against Burnley. I hope to make the best decision for tomorrow’s game with my team selection and then, after this match, I will start to think about the Southampton game,” he added.