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CFC

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Chelsea will face Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in the Premier League Matchday 8 (kick-off 3PM BST). Official lineups for the upcoming game have been announced:

Crystal Palace: Speroni, Ward, Dann, Sakho, Schlupp, van Aanholt, Milivojevic, Cabaye, McArthur, Townsend, Zaha

Subs: Henry, Tomkins, Fosu-Mensah, Kaikai, Sako, Puncheon, Riedewald

Manager: Roy Hodgson

ChelseaCourtois, Alonso, Cahill, Luiz, Azpilicueta, Moses, Fabregas, Willian, Bakayoko, Hazard, Batshuayi

Subs: Caballero, Rudiger, Pedro, Musonda, Zappacosta, Christensen, Scott

Manager: Antonio Conte

Venue: Selhurst Park

Kick-Off: 3pm BST

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, speaking ahead of next game against Crystal Palace, admitted life “was difficult” alone in London last season, anyway he’s more settled at Chelsea now as his family are based in England.

“Last season was difficult because when you are alone it was all about my job – Conte said – This season there is my job but I go to my house, with my daughter and wife, and we can take the car and try to visit London, Kingston or discover new restaurants. Recently we went with Carlo [Cudicini] to a Brazilian restaurant in Leatherhead”.

The Italian manager added: “Last season was very difficult for my wife because she divided her time between Italy, where she was with my daughter, and me in London. Now for sure it’s great for me and my family. For my daughter it’s a fantastic experience and for my wife, living in a new country and learning a new language is great”.

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With Alvaro Morata sidelined after suffering a muscular injury against Man City in the last Premier League game, Michy Batshuayi could be given an opportunity from Chelsea manager Antonio Conte.

“If you compare Michy with last season he has improved a lot, – said Conte speaking in Cobham ahead of next Premier League clash against Crystal Palace He understands this league because it’s not simple. He understands our style of football but don’t forget he’s another young player and he’s working hard to improve”.

“This season he’s finding many opportunities to play, in the Champions League, Premier League and Carabao Cup, coming on and starting games. Last season he had few opportunities but this season he’s playing a lot”.

Conte preferred to place Eden Hazard as a central striker when Morata limped off the pitch at Stamford Bridge two weeks ago.

“The most important thing is to show he’s improving. – he added – Don’t forget, as a striker I can also utilise Eden Hazard. Last season we played two games with Hazard as the number nine, with Willian and Pedro, and if I see a situation we are ready to do that again, but Michy is showing he deserves to play”.

The Blues are set to face Crystal Palace today (3pm BST).

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AC Milan director of football Massimiliano Mirabelli confirmed yesterday that the Serie A side are not interested in appointing current Chelsea manager Antonio Conte as “already have a manager to work with”, Vincenzo Montella.

Mirabelli told Radio Rossonera: “We already have a manager and we are not thinking of hiring Conte nor about other managers.”

The Rossoneri, who spent a huge amount of money in the last transfer market window are chasing the European spots and will face Inter Milan on Sunday night.

The Italian manager himself claimed he’s not considering a comeback to Italy next season: “In the interview I gave I just said that one day, in the future, I would like to go back to Italy” he said yesterday in press conference.

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Chelsea will face Crystal Palace at the weekend with the Eagles yet to gain a point and score a goal in the Premier League.

However, duo also to Kante and Morata‘s injuries, the Blues will have to struggle to beat Roy Hogdson‘s side, according to Paul Merson.

“This is a hard game for Chelsea without N’Golo Kante or Alvaro Morata.” – Merson told Sky Sports – “They are two massive players and not having them will make a difference. But Chelsea still have a good defence and Palace don’t have Christian Benteke so it will be hard for them to score. Man City were on fire against Chelsea and still only scored once, and that was a ‘worldie’, so that is what Palace are up against.

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Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has chosen his starting Xi for his Premier League team of the year.

Carragher named four Chelsea players: Cesar Azpilicueta, Marcos Alonso, N’Golo Kante and Eden Hazard: the choice was made considering last season and the first seven matches of the current Premier League.

In particular, Carragher explains Azpilicueta’s pick: “His Chelsea team play a slightly different system with three at the back” – he told the Telegraph – , “but Azpilicueta has to go in there as he is one of the best defenders in the Premier League.”

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Antonio Conte spoke ahead of the Crystal Palace away clash and claimed neither Alvaro Morata nor N’Golo Kante will be fit for the game after picking up hamstring injuries, as well as Danny Drinkwater, who has been recovering from a calf injury since the beginning of September:

“I hope to have Morata for the game with Roma next week,” Conte revealed.

“Drinkwater we have to wait, calf problems are not easy. With Kante we are going to do a scan next week to check his situation, his improving, he’s got an hamstring problem.

“It’s a big loss for us, you know very well how he is important for us, we don’t have another player with the same characteristics.

“We are not lucky in this period, we have only Bakyoko and Fabregas available, we have to find different solutions, we have to adapt some defenders as midfielders, or use Scott or Ampadu in the first team.

Kante will be out around 20 days, more or less, for this reason we have to do another scan after one week, to understand the situation very well, to see the improvement, he’s a big loss and it’s a big problem for us.

“For sure we have to approach these seven games without him, we have Fabregas and Bakayoko, then youngsters, we have to find a solution, it will be very difficult to play with Fabregas and Bakayoko for seven games in a row, of course we have to hope to have no more injuries in these games.

“I think an injury can happen during the international break but not only there, for example Morata picked up a injury with Man City, we have to hope they come back in good physical conditions.

“I guess now it’s important to be focused on the present, on the next game, to do our job in the best way to put all our best.”

About his future, Conte said:

“I think that in the last weeks I’ve read wrong things, in the interview I gave I just said that one day, in the future, I would like to go back to Italy.

“I know my position, I have two more years of contract with Chelsea, I like to work here, I like to work with my players, I like the great feeling I got with the fans. My family now stays here and my daughter is going to school here in Cobham, I want to clarify this.

“When a coach starts the work with the club for sure he hopes to stay for a long time and to build something important with the club. Our job is very difficult because everything can change in one day.”

Andrea Pirlo announced he will retire from his footballer career in the end of the year and speculations claimed he could end up working as Conte’s assistant:

“I know that Andrea decided to retire and finish his career in December with NYCFC, I think in this moment he doesn’t know his future and what he wants to do once he’s finished with his career,” the Italian manager stated.

On adapting David Luiz as a midfielder during Kante’s absence he said:

“We are speaking to adapt a player – David Luiz- that is very important as a central defender, because for me David is important as a central defender, if I can I prefer not to change a lot, because if you find a system, you can lose something, to play with three central midfielders could be an option, but I don’t want to change a lot, but if there is the necessity I am ready to do this and I am also ready to give chances to young players, like Ampadu or Scott.

Continuing to speak about next games, Conte said:

“We must be focused to work, we must be focused to do our jobs, the players and I, I think this must be the most important thing for us. Some issues are not important, now it’s important to look at the next game.

Bathsuayi started against Burnley, Qarabag, so he has no problem to start other games.”

Speaking about Kenedy, who last summer ended the Asian tour in advance for some controversial posts on the social media, he said:

“I think his mind must be focused on the pitch, not on social media, I think my task is to help him to find the right way, not the wrong way. I explained it to him, I am sure he understood, I think he has to continue to work like he’s doing, social media are not the most important thing in his career. he’s a very talented player, I see him very well, he’s got a good prospect to become an important player for Chelsea, he has to continue this way, I am sure his chance will come.”

Speaking about academy players to be insert in the first team, Conte said:

“We tried to do this last season, don’t forget that a lot of players from the academy players played in different games, they will play a lot in Carabao Cup, I think they will have the opportunity to play for Chelsea.”

And,finally, about Andreas Christensen and Charlie Musonda’s development:

“I think he can be a good example that, after two years on loan and after a good experience with Borussia Mönchengladbach, he’s becoming an important player with Chelsea. Charlie has to continue this way, we have only three number 10 and usually we play with two, he’s a talented player and I am sure he will have a good career, if his attention is more on the pitch and not on the social media.”

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Crystal Palace is facing major injury problems ahead of the Premier League clash vs Chelsea.

Not only strikers Benteke and Wickham are not available for the game, but, on the other end of the field also Wayne Hennessey is a major doubt for the Eagles.

The goalkeeper picked up a knock with Wales in a World Cup qualifier and so veteran Julian Speroni could be part of the starting XI, making is first league start in 18 months.

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is considering to place a bid for ex-Genoa youngster Richmond Boakye, who currently plays for Red Star Belgrade.

The 24-year-old striker will face Arsenal next week in the Europa League, with Chelsea scouts reportedly set to watch the Ghana striker in action.

Boakye spent last season with Italian side Latina, before joining the Serbian giants in January: Boakye has scored 15 goals from 22 appearances so far.

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Former Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri believes Antonio Conte wants more signings at Stamford Bridge and is not considering a return to Italy next summer, despite rumors linking him with AC Milan.

Ranieri, who’s currently in charge at French side Nantes, told La Gazzetta dello Sport: “The Premier League remains the best and I have not been convinced of Conte’s desire to return home. Maybe he was expecting a different transfer window but for a few years, Abramovich has not paid crazy prices”.

“Manchester City and Manchester United on the other hand have made big buys so I can imagine that for Antonio to fight on more fronts with the same players is more tiring.”

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