MANCHESTER UNITED AND CITY ARE SUPERIOR TO CHELSEA - CONTE
Antonio Conte believes Manchester United and Manchester City have the strongest squads in the Premier League, despite his Chelsea side establishing a dominant 10-point cushion at the top of the table.
Chelsea host United in a blockbuster FA Cup quarter-final at Stamford Bridge on Monday, and Conte is expecting a tough game, although his team, widely dubbed the champions-elect, are sitting 17 points clear of Jose Mourinho's Red Devils in the league.
The Old Trafford men are unbeaten in the league since they were beaten 4-0 at Chelsea in the Premier League on October 23, but they have been unable to climb higher than sixth.
Despite their inability to break into the top four, Conte was full of praise for the quality available to managerial rivals Mourinho and Pep Guardiola.
"I think Manchester United, with City, have the best squad in the league," Conte told reporters on Friday. "They have a lot, a number of great players with great talent and great experience to win.
Guardiola, Kane win monthly Premier League awards
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has been named the Premier League manager of the month for February, while in-form Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane picked up his fourth player of the month award.
City, who are third in the table, were unbeaten last month, winning all three of their Premier League games, scoring eight goals and conceding once, against West Ham United, Swansea City and Bournemouth.
Guardiola, who picked up the award for the first time, beat Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte and West Bromwich Albion boss Tony Pulis.
Meanwhile, the 23-year-old Kane received his award after propelling Tottenham to second in the table by netting four goals in three league matches, including a hat-trick in last month's win over Stoke City.
"It's a great honour," Kane told the Premier League's website. "I'm in good form at the minute, I feel confident going into every match."
The England forward won the award by edging out Manchester City duo Gabriel Jesus and David Silva, West Brom defender Gareth McAuley, Hull City goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic and Everton striker Romelu Lukaku.