Chelsea: Record-chasers looking to strengthen in January, says Antonio Conte

Antonio Conte
Conte's side are two wins away from an outright record in English football

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte says he might try to strengthen his side in the January transfer window to boost the Blues' Premier League title challenge.

The leaders are bidding for a record 14 straight wins in one top-flight season when they visit Tottenham on Wednesday.

Victory would see them extend their lead over Liverpool to eight points.

"There are some positions that, if we are able to find the right solution, it is important to take that solution," said Conte.

"This championship is long. Also, I know the difficulty of the market and finding the right player. But we are talking about this."

Conte's side beat Spurs 2-1 at Stamford Bridge in November as part their record-equalling run of 13 consecutive Premier League wins.

"Against Tottenham was a tough game," added Conte. "For me, Tottenham are better than last season."

The Italian also said that Diego Costa was "completely focused" after the in-form striker admitted having wanted to leave last summer.

"When Diego decided to stay, he said he wanted to fight for this club and for his shirt. I wasn't concerned. He is showing great patience in the right way, in every moment of the game."

The 14 club

Victory over Spurs on Wednesday would see Chelsea become the first team in history to win 14 consecutive English top-flight games in one season.

A win in their next game at Leicester would give them the outright record of 15 straight wins in English football.

So who are the other sides to rack up a run of 14 victories?

Arsenal 2001-02 title winners
Arsenal lifted the 2001-02 Premier League trophy after a 4-3 win over Everton - their 13th consecutive league win

Arsenal - Premier League - 2001-02 & 2002-03

When: The Gunners collected 13 straight victories to end the 2001-02 season - the only other Premier League side to manage 13 in a row in one season - before winning the first game of the 2002-03 campaign.

Ended by: A 2-2 draw with West Ham at Upton Park on 24 August 2002.

Champions: Arsenal claimed the 2001-02 Premier League title thanks to a 1-0 victory at Manchester United during their winning run, receiving the trophy after their 13th win against Everton. They finished runners-up to United the following year.

Preston North End - Second Division - 1950-51

When: Preston started their winning run on Christmas Day 1950 and went on until 27 March 1951.

Ended by: A 3-3 draw at Southampton on 31 March 1951.

Champions: Preston finished top of the table to be promoted to the First Division, then the top flight of English football.

Bristol City - Second Division - 1905-06

When: After losing their first game of the season 5-1 to Manchester United, the Bristol Babe, as they were nicknamed, went on a perfect run from 9 September to 2 December 1905.

Ended by: A 1-1 draw away to Leeds City on 9 December 1905.

Champions: Despite three more draws that December, Bristol City only lost one further game all season to claim the title and promotion to the First Division.

Manchester United - Second Division - 1904-05

When: A year before Bristol City matched them, Manchester United won 14 consecutive games between 15 October 1904 and 3 January 1905.

Ended by: A 1-1 draw at Bristol City on 7 January 1905.

Champions: Remarkably, United finished third and missed out on promotion to the First Division after falling behind Bolton and eventual champions Liverpool. They would be promoted in second behind Bristol City the following season.

Every side to have reached 14 straight league wins has seen the streak end with an away draw in the following game.

Chelsea could be going for their 15th win away at Leicester on 14 January - will it be the reigning champions who finally defy this year's favourites?

Analysis

BBC Radio 5 live football correspondent John Murray

Talk about rarity value - we might witness something here that no team has been able to achieve in any one top-flight season since this league was first played in 1888.

And if they manage it, Chelsea will become only the fifth team to win 14 consecutive league matches at any time, in any of the divisions.

Tottenham are already one of the victims of this Chelsea winning streak, having lost at Stamford Bridge in November.

But they will have other ideas this time round, and with good reason too, after running into a rich vein of form of their own with four successive wins.

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