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Champagne on ice for Chelsea

By Staff
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LONDON, Apr 16 (Reuters) Chelsea can secure back-to-back Premier League titles at Stamford Bridge tomorrow and end Manchester United's lingering hopes of catching the Londoners.

A win for Jose Mourinho's side will be enough if United fail to win at Tottenham Hotspur earlier in the day.

Chelsea's 2-0 victory at Bolton Wanderers yesterday extended their lead to nine points with four games to play after United were surprisingly held to a goalless draw by relegated Sunderland on Friday.

''I'm very confident but I am not jumping and I am not singing,'' Mourinho told reporters.

''We have Everton at home (on Monday), it is a very difficult match, as always. That is why I say we need four points to be champions, not three, you never know what can happen in football.'' United visit fourth-placed Spurs in a lunchtime kickoff and boast an excellent record in recent visits to White Hart Lane, with four successive league wins.

KILLER BLOW Another victory against a side chasing a Champions League place will keep United's slim title hopes alive, although manager Alex Ferguson said that failing to beat Sunderland was a ''killer blow''.

''But we can't give up, we've come too far,'' Ferguson told United's in-house television channel.

''Our form has been too good. We've got to look at it as Sunderland can do it to us, maybe other teams can do it to Chelsea.

''It'll be a tough game on Monday,'' he said. ''It's a terrific football pitch and a great atmosphere.

''We've had some great games with Tottenham in the past, we have a great record there and hopefully we'll come back with three points.'' France striker Louis Saha has recovered from injury and is in United's squad.

The relegation picture will also become clearer tomorrow with Portsmouth, who visit out-of-sorts Charlton Athletic, looking to extend their unbeaten run to seven games.

Yesterday's win over Middlesbrough lifted the south-coast side out of the drop zone.

Second from bottom West Bromwich Albion, who escaped relegation in their final game last season, are at home to Bolton.

REUTERS DH PM0930

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