Saturday, 21 October, 2017

Antonio Conte left with midfield headache after N'Golo Kante ruled out

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Melinda Barton | 13 October, 2017, 21:04

Kante is now sidelined with a hamstring injury picked up whilst playing for France and Chelsea are waiting for details of how long the player, who was recently included in the 30 man Ballon D'Or shortlist, is out for.

The Spaniard limped out of Chelsea's 1-0 defeat to City at Stamford Bridge and subsequently missed the worldwide break with Spain.

He won't recover in time for tomorrow's match at Selhurst Park but he could return for Chelsea's Champions League match against Roma on Wednesday.

Kante will be a "big loss" for Chelsea, says Antonio Conte.

"We are going to do a scan next week to check Kante's situation, if he's improving". We must have patience with his calf problem. We don't have another player with the same characteristics.

'We only have [Tiemoue] Bakayoko and [Cesc] Fabregas available'.

"We were not lucky in this period above all in midfield".

"We approach seven games and we will have to use other players in this area, defenders, young players".

"In this area of the field we have only Bakayoko and Fabregas". Maybe this scan will be better than the one before. If I can I prefer don't change a lot, also because you [could] try and find a solution and you lose something with the defence. It could be an option if I decide to play with three central midfielders. When I made a decision to utilise him in midfield against Tottenham, could be an option if I decide to play three midfielders.

Adding to Conte's injury woes, Spain striker Alvaro Morata will miss the Palace match with a hamstring injury suffered against City.

"The fans will be pleased to see him back on the field but I would urge people to give him the benefit of the doubt in his first few games he comes back into as he has been out for over six weeks".