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CFC

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte praises his players after today’s win at Stamford Bridge vs Watford which guaranteed three points to the Blues in the Premier League table.

 

“We show good character, good spirit, we tried to fight and tried to win. I have to praise my players for this. It wasn’t easy. When you are not used to losing one game, also two games in a row, I think it’s not simple. The game was very tough against a good team in a good moment of form, a lot of confidence”. – Conte said in his press conference after the game

“I think I want also to see the positive aspects because in the last two games we scored seven goals. We concede goals but I think to score seven goals is important. This game was the third game in seven days. I think in the second half also we showed good physical condition because we showed a lot until the end.

“We came back from 2-1. Now I think we have to recover very well and tomorrow is a day off and then to prepare a game against Everton in the Carabao Cup.”

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Chelsea face Watford in a crucial London Derby for the Blues’ title hopes following the 2-1 defeat suffered against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park last week.

Here are the official lineups for today’s game:

Chelsea – Courtois, Rudiger, Cahill, Azpilicueta, Alonso, Luiz, Fabregas, Bakayoko, Hazard, Pedro, Morata

Subs: Caballero, Musonda, Zappacosta, Willian, Batshuayi, Christensen, Ampadu

Manager: Antonio Conte

Watford – Gomes, Kabasele, Britos, Mariappa, Femenia, Cleverley, Doucoure, Holebas, Pereyra, Deeney, Richarlison

Subs: Karnezis (GK), Wagué, Janmaat, Watson, Capoue, Carrillo, Gray

Manager: Marco Silva

Kick-Off: 12.45PM BST

Venue: Stamford Bridge

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Antonio Conte will probably have just one first team squad midfielder for tomorrow’s clash against Watford, as the Italian manager himself revealed during a press conference today maybe only Cesc Fabregas will be fully fit to play among the midfielders, as Danny Drinkwater and N’Golo Kante are both still recovering from their long-term injuries and Tiemoué Bakayoko didn’t feel very well after the Champions League game against Roma:

“Honestly at the moment I cannot say nothing about the starting XI for tomorrow,” Conte told the press.

“I have many doubts, I have 24 hrs to recover some players, maybe Fabregas will be the only fit midfielder.

“For sure tomorrow the game will be very tough, because Watford are a good team, they got a good position in the table, but after two defeats we want to come back to win.

“It can happen to lose some games, after [the win against] Atletico we played a tough game after only two days, maybe this can be the only regret, when we played at Crystal Palace it was after international break, and then Roma after three days.”

Asked if he changed something in his training method respect to last season, Conte said:

“I don’t know about this, my method is the same of last season, when we won the league, we are working maybe 70% less in this season, that’s why we have troubles.

“We play every three days, so it’s impossible to work in technical and physical aspect like the past year.

“After two defeats in a row I am happy for the commitment and the efforts of my players, but if you ask me about the last results, I am not happy, no coach can be happy after two defeats and one draw.”

Conte was also asked if he can handle the pressure he’s under in this delicate moment of his Chelsea experience:

“I think every manager has to feel the pressure, I try to put all myself in my job, I am happy when I go to my house because I put myself 100% in my job.”

When asked if he was regretting replying to José Mourinho‘s comments ( “some manager always cry about injuries”) the Italian coach replied:

I don’t regret replying to him, every manager has to talk about his job, himself, his team, his players, not the others. Every coach has to focus on his own work, it’s the best way to work.”

And when the journalist insisted on a comment on this topic, Conte replied:

“For me this is a stupid issue, it’s funny you’re sot interested in it.”

Asked about Danny Drinkwater‘s recovery from his calf injury and if he could risk the former Leicester midfielder in the next games Conte said:

“Danny is progressing well, now he has started to work in some part of the sessions with us, now it’s important for him to improve his physical conditions, but he’s progressing well.

“First of all it’s important to recover him very well, if I play him I will have a not fit player and maybe he will pick up another injury, 40 days have already passed, but we must have more patience and wait the right moment.”

About N’Golo Kante’s recovery from his hamstring injury, Conte said:

“I hope to have him back very soon, before the inter nation break, he is progressing well, the scan was better than before, he has started to work, not with the group. Back with Man United? It could be an option, but if he is available before, like in the away game at Rome, I will be very happy.

“I think that we have to try everything to win the game, their effort and commitment was very good and positive against Manchester City and against Roma, it’s important to win, we’re working to try to win the next game.”

“Now our priority it’s to be focused and to go game by game, every opponent can be dangerous for different reasons, we have to go game by game to try to win the game and put ourselves in a better condition.

“When you have to play four competition this is the path you must follow, to play every game with the same players is a big problem, in this way it’s impossible to work well, the game is not training, it’s different.

“If you compare the situation with Tottenham last season, don’t forget that we lost a lot of big players, a lot of players that wrote the history of this club, we signed five players and we are trying to repeat something important, but it’s normal you have to pay something in this situation.”

Questioned if he regrets to play David Luiz in the midfield against Roma, Conte said:

“When you have the necessity to do this I am not happy, because I think every player has his own role, but I think sometimes you have to adapt and you must pay for this, it’s normal.”

On tomorrow’s rival, this what the Blues boss claimed:

“I think they are doing very well, they did a really good transfer market, I’m very happy for Pozzo family, I know them very well and they have great knowledge of football, but surely tomorrow I want to ready to beat them.”

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Chelsea captain Gary Cahill claims a busy schedule can help his team to rediscover the best form.

The Blues suffered two defeats and one draw in the last three games and still have to play five important matches in the next three weeks, before mid November international break:

It does take a toll,” Cahill said about the busy fixture.

“Certainly it is because you are playing every three days and the recovery in between is short. 

“Alongside that we are having important injuries and everyone knows we don’t have a humongous squad. I don’t want to look at them as excuses, they are facts. 

“But I think we have to look at the amount of games we are playing as a help because when you’re trying to recover the form you’re capable of, and showed last season, you need games to do that, you need games to put it right. 

“You need to work on the training pitch as well, but you need games to put it into practice. I think it is a positive for us.”

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Four Chelsea games to be played in December were rescheduled, these are the fixtures effected:

Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge:  Saturday 2 December, kick off 12.30pm GMT

West Ham United away: Saturday 9 December,  kick off 12.30pm GMT

Huddersfield Town away: Tuesday 12 December, kick off  8pm GMT

Everton away: Saturday 23 December, kick off 12.30pm GMT

The broadcast selections for the remainder of December and January will be announced no later than Friday 27 October.

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Everton are almost out of Europa League, with just 1 point collected after three games in this competition.

The Liverpool side lost 2-1 at Goodison Park against Lyon tonight: the French team’s winner was scored by former Chelsea wonderkid Bertrand Traorè, who netted the ball at 75′ with a wonderful back-heel.

The Burkina Faso international joined Lyon on a £8m permanent move last summer.

Ronald Koeman is now on the brink of being sacked: the Toffees are 16th in the Premier League table, just two points and two positions from relegation, and are almost out from Europa League, with just 1 point in 3 games and being on the bottom of their group table ( Atalanta 7 points, Lyon 5, Apollon Limassol 2).

 

 

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With the future of Michy Batshuayi more than uncertain at Stamford Bridge after some poor performances, it seems Chelsea are thinking about recalling Tammy Abraham from his loan at Swansea in the second part of the season.

The young striker has already scored five goals in ten games and Swansea’s manager Paul Clement insists he will stay in Wales all season long.

“There is a stipulation in place that if he does not meet a certain amount of games, a proportion of games by the halfway stage, he can be recalled,”  – Clement explained – That is a normal thing to have on a season-long loan in place to protect the player, to make sure he’s getting the right amount of game time. But if we were bringing in a player of his ability then I felt he was coming here to play. As we stand there is no reason to think he would not meet that criteria. He’s well on course for that and he’ll be here for the year. The only way they can recall him is if he is sat on the bench for the remaining games. But the way he’s playing I can’t see that happening.’

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Chelsea and Barcelona will place further bids for Napoli defensive star and Senegal international Kalidou Koulibaly, according to reports in The Sun and Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo.  face competition from Barcelona for Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, according to The Sun.

It is understood the Serie A giants are confident they can keep the 26-year-old at San Paolo this season, having rejected several bids from the Blues last summer. 

Chelsea reportedly made a £53m bid for the centre-back in June, but Napoli‘s president Aurelio De Laurentiis rejected any offer as he rates Koulibaly a key player in Maurizio Sarri‘s system.

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Crystal Palace forward Christian Benteke is on among the names linked with a move to Chelsea as potential replacements for Michy Batshuayi, as the Independent revealed this morning.

Antonio Conte is reportedly keeping tabs also on Leicester City star Jamie Vardy and Red Star Belgrade striker Richmond Boakye.

Benteke, who’s a compatriot of Batshuayi, joined Crystal Palace on a permanent move on 20th August 2016 for club-record £32m fee.

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