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Antonio Conte believes winning the Premier League title in his first season at Chelsea would be his greatest achievement.

The Blues on Tuesday evening play Southampton seeking a victory which would restore a seven-point lead over nearest rivals Tottenham, who face Crystal Palace on Wednesday night.

Read full match report

Chelsea 4-2 Southampton: Diego Costa brace helps Blues sail past Saints and restore seven-point lead over Spurs 

Conte's Chelsea have a four-point advantage with six games to go, but beat Spurs 4-2 on Saturday to reach the FA Cup final with Arsenal and keep alive prospects of a double.

Asked if clinching the Premier League would be his best achievement, multiple Serie A winner Conte said: "Yes, for sure. For me, for the players, for the club.

"To win the title in England is a great achievement. To win in England these days is not easy.

"Now it's a good season. To become a great or fantastic season there is only one way: to try to win."

Conte made a veiled criticism of Manchester United and Manchester City on Monday, saying spending money does not guarantee success as both face a battle to finish in the top four.

Jose Mourinho's United bought Paul Pogba for a world record fee of £89million and Pep Guardiola's City made big outlays on players including £50m defender John Stones.

Chelsea were third in Premier League spending last summer but will point to their significantly smaller net spend, given they received big fees for players including £60m for Oscar in the last 12 months.

"This season it's very important to understand that it's not always about who spends more money who wins," Conte added.

"This season isn't the only season both Manchester clubs have spent a lot of money. Look at the past."

Conte has repeatedly stated Chelsea are in a transitional period, something which will become more apparent this summer when a constant of the successful Roman Abramovich era of ownership leaves.

Tuesday's clash is the first at Stamford Bridge since it was announced captain John Terry is to depart at the end of the season after 22 years.

Conte says Chelsea's approach is about evolution, rather than revolution.

He added: "(We want) to build, also, slowly slowly to become a real power."

Eden Hazard is integral to Chelsea's present and future and Conte wants him to continue to put the team before himself.

Hazard and striker Diego Costa came off the substitutes' bench - where they began the Spurs clash as Conte had an eye on the Saints match - to great effect at Wembley.

And afterwards Cesc Fabregas stated his belief that Hazard was second in ability only to Barcelona's Lionel Messi and can improve if he is more "selfish" and shows a greater "killer instinct".

Conte reckons players can only be great by playing as part of a team.

"I don't think that a player like Messi is a selfish player," Conte said.

"The best players in the world don't exist without the team.

"In my team I don't want selfish players. I prefer to lose a game, than to have a selfish player."

Gary Cahill missed the Spurs game following gastroenteritis, but trained on Sunday and Monday and could return for a Chelsea side with no other fitness concerns.

Southampton won at Chelsea last season but are out of European contention this term.

Saints boss Claude Puel maintains the game is important.

"The best team in the Premier League is the one with the most consistency and, for the moment, that is Chelsea," he said.

"They are a fantastic team that want to win the title, but for us as well it is important to take points."

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