Antonio Conte has warned his Chelsea players that they are in for a stern test of their title credentials at Middlesbrough on Sunday.
The west London club head into the game looking to build on their impressive 5-0 win over Everton at Stamford Bridge before the international break.
Chelsea headed into this weekend’s round of games trailing Premier League leaders Liverpool by just one point after an impressive recent run of form.
The Blues have beaten the likes of Everton and Manchester United in recent weeks to keep their title bid on track.
However, Chelsea boss Conte – who was named as the Premier League manager of the month for October – is wary of the threat posed by the newly-promoted side on Sunday.
Speaking in an interview with Chelsea’s website, Conte said: “Our next game is against Middlesbrough on Sunday, we know they are really strong and it will be a tough game, but we have prepared very well.”
Chelsea finished 10th and without a trophy last season, and with their title defence in tatters after Jose Mourinho’s sacking.