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English Premiership

Ancelotti wary of Spurs

LONDON, April 16 – Even Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger admit the Premier League title is now Chelsea's to lose as Carlo Ancelotti's side takes a four-point lead into the final four fixtures.

But if Chelsea are to triumph for the first time since 2006, they will have to perform better at White Hart Lane on Saturday than Arsenal did on Wednesday.

Tottenham Hotspur’s 2-1 victory in the second north London derby of the season left Arsenal six points adrift and all but ruled the Gunners out of title contention.

But if reigning champions Manchester United defeat Manchester City in Saturday’s early match, Chelsea’s lead will be down to a point by the time they kick-off at Tottenham.

Chelsea already know the margin of error is small as they only scraped past Bolton Wanderers 1-0 at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday when John Terry, the Blues captain, appeared fortunate not to give away a penalty.

Terry’s post-match focus, however, was only on helping Chelsea, who face Portsmouth in next month’s FA Cup Final at Wembley, to become the seventh English club to win a domestic double.

"You compete and you compete, always at 100 percent, and then, when the opportunity arises, you have to seize it," the England defender explained.

"When you seize it, you can make history. We have never won the double.

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"In my lifetime only Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal have.

"We weren’t at our best (against Bolton). Nerves, with us not winning the Premier League for three years, took their toll late on but we managed to hold on," Terry added.

Tottenham are unlikely to give Chelsea an easy ride either as they are in a tight tussle with Manchester City for fourth place and the Champions League qualification attempt that comes with it.

City are currently ahead by a single point – and a single goal should it come down to goal difference – so London rivals Tottenham and Chelsea will know their exact requirements before the 5.30pm local (1630GMT) kick-off.

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech, who now has 100 Premier League shut-outs to his name, made it clear he was prepared to grind out a result if necessary.

"We can play great football and we can score goals but when you reach the point when the game doesn’t go your way, you have to dig deep," he said.

"You can’t win the Premier League by playing only brilliant football. If there is a game when you have to defend, defend, defend and win only 1-0 then you need to. We are very aware we are quite close to success but also very far."

But Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp was confident his players could replicate their impressive Arsenal performance against the champions-elect.

"I said to the players if we could beat Arsenal we could still get fourth place," he said. "It’s still going to be hard but we’re right in there and this will give us a big lift for Chelsea on Saturday.

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"It will be another difficult game against a strong team but on the back of this we will go into it with a bit of confidence.

"We are in great form with six wins in the last seven in the league. The crowd will be with us again so it’s a game to look forward to."

Spurs keeper Heurelho Gomes was also anticipating another game to remember.

"They are top of the league and will come to win the game," he said. "We know we need to try to win as well because we’re fighting to get into the top four. If we win that game it will be massive for us."

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