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CFC

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Chelsea development squad are struggling as Joe Edward’s men earned only 6 points in 7 games so far, level on points with Derby County and Manchester City in 6th place.

Leicester City won a crucial game against the Blues at Holmes Park with goals from George Thomas and starlet Ahmed Musa.

Liverpool remain top of the league with 18 points, 6 wins and no defeats suffered in a great start to the season.

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Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma is playing at Stoke City in a season-long loan after recovering from a knee ligaments injury.

The Blues will visit the Potters tomorrow at Britannia Stadium in a clash valid for the Premier League.

Speaking about the form of the French defender and the decision to send him on loan at Mark Hughes‘ side, Chelsea boss Antonio Conte said:

“For Kurt this season is very important to play,” Conte claimed.

“After a really bad injury – because it was not a normal ACL injury, it was REALLY bad. He’s playing very well, this season for him is very important, he can improve, he can find the best fit, I’m pleased for him and I hope to see him tomorrow to say ‘hello’ to him.”

The decision to send him on loan was taken both by Conte and the club, as the manager confirmed:

“Don’t forget that every decision I take, I take it with the club. It’s always important to know this, but in this specific case it was important to send him on loan for this season to play regularly”

 

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has been included in the list of the three finalist for the FIFA best coach of the year award.

The Italian manager will compete vs Massimiliano Allegri and Zinedine Zidane who were the two Champions League finalist with Juventus and Real Madrid.

Last year Claudio Ranieri won the award, after triumphing in the Premier League with Leicester City.

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Stoke City manager Mark Hughes is still disappointed for the bad result and performance his team showed in the Carabao League Cup, but he expects his player to do better this weekend in the Premier League game vs Chelsea.

We disappointed ourselves earlier in the week, so we are eager to respond to that in the right manner against Chelsea. There is always a reaction on the back of a disappointing result, and we fully expect the performance to be markedly better this weekend.” – Hughes told Stoke City official website -“There is nothing we can do about what happened on Tuesday so we need to make a good account of ourselves against the champions, which I fully believe we will do. We are coming up against Chelsea, the champions, and we saw their quality in midweek when they were able to dispatch of their opposition at ease. It will be a huge test for us, but we have come up against Arsenal and Manchester United and taken points off them so we are confident of doing the same this weekend. We may have to ride our luck at times, just as you always do in these games, but we have done well in our last two home fixtures and we want that to continue this weekend”.

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Speaking about the available players for Stoke City away game Antonio Conte confirmed he is considering to start Eden Hazard after the Belgian completed his recovery from a broken ankle injury and, furthermore, that the only player that is not available for a calf injury is Danny Drinkwater, who will probably come back after the international break mid-October.

Of course, David Luiz cannot be selected for the Britannia Stadium clash, as he is suspended after receiving a straight red-card against Arsenal last weekend, while Tiemoué Bakayoko, who had a minor car accident yesterday, didn’t suffer any major consequence:

All players are available for tomorrow except Drinkwater. Bakayoko is fit, it was a minor accident, he is fit,” the Italian manager confirmed during today’s press conference.

Speaking about Eden Hazard, who started his first game with Chelsea after his broken ankle injury last Wednesday against Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup, Conte said:

“I am pleased for Eden because in the last game he played very well, he played with a good intensity, now his injury is overcome, now we have to play three games, there is the chance to try to pick him for these games.”

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During today’s press conference to preview the Premier League clash against Stoke City Chelsea boss Antonio Conte spoke also about Diego Costa, who is completing his move back to Atletico Madrid in these days after being AWOL all summer:

“We want to thank him for what he did with this club, we wish him all the best for the future,” Conte said in a diplomatic way.

When he was asked if the relationship with the Spanish striker was really broken, he continued:

“I’m not interested to continue speaking about this issue, it’s not important, I’m very happy to work with these players.”

Diego Costa won the title with Conte and Chelsea last season, a trophy he won also three seasons ago with Mourinho at the same club, speaking about Costa’s contribution to latest Blues’ trophies, the Italian manager said:

“In this moment I’m not interested to talk about the past, it’s not important, the past stay there, if you did well in the past is ok, I think we have to think for the future of this club.”

“Don’t forget that we won together last season, for sure we want to thank him for his effort with Chelsea, not only last season but all the period at Chelsea.”

Asked if now there will be more chance for Michy Batshuayi, who was Diego Costa’s substitute last season, Conte said:

“He’s one of the players in our squad and last season he didn’t play a lot but he worked very hard, now he is more prepared to face this season and he will have the right chance.”

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All Chelsea players except Danny Drinkwater ( calf injury) and David Luiz ( suspension) are available for selection for tomorrow’s clash at Stoke, as Blues boss Antonio Conte revealed in a press conference ahead of the game today:

“All players are available for tomorrow except Drinkwater. Bakayoko is fit, it was a minor accident, he is fit”

Speaking about Diego Costa, who is completing his move back to Atletico Madrid in these days after being AWOL all summer:

“We want to thank him for what he did with this club, we wish him all the best for the future,” Conte said in a diplomatic way.

When he was asked if the relationship with the Spanish striker was really broken, he continued:

“I’m not interested to continue speaking about this issue, it’s not important, I’m very happy to work with these players.”

Diego Costa won the title with Conte and Chelsea last season, a trophy he won also three seasons ago with Mourinho at the same club, speaking about Costa’s contribution to latest Blues’ trophies, the Italian manager said:

“In this moment I’m not interested to talk about the past, it’s not important, the past stay there, if you did well in the past is ok, I think we have to think for the future of this club.”

“Don’t forget that we won together last season, for sure we want to thank him for his effort with Chelsea, not only last season but all the period at Chelsea.”

Asked if now there will be more chance for Michy Batshuayi, who was Diego Costa’s substitute last season, Conte said:

“He’s one of the players in our squad and last season he didn’t play a lot but he worked very hard, now he is more prepared to face this season and he will have the right chance.”

Conte then spoke about the difficult season ahead for his team, with four major competitions to face:

“You must work and try to fight for every competition, we are Chelsea and we have to try to win every game, our target is to do our best every day, week and month in this season.

The Blues will play Stoke City at Britannia Stadium tomorrow, a field where both Manchester United and Arsenal weren’t able to win this season, with the Red Devils drawing 2-2 two weeks ago and losing the only two points in these first five Premier League games, and the Gunners losing 1-0 back in August:

“For sure it will be a really tough game, they won against Arsenal and drew against Man United. We must pay attention tomorrow, we are preparing very well this game, this is the first one of three tough games in seven days, with Atletico’s game in Champions League coming next Wednesday and Manchester City in the next weekend, so this will be a good test for us.”

Speaking about Eden Hazard, who started his first game with Chelsea after his broken ankle injury last Wednesday against Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup, Conte said:

“I am pleased for Eden because in the last game he played very well, he played with a good intensity, now his injury is overcome, now we have to play three games, there is the chance to try to pick him for these games.”

The Italian boss then went on speaking about the difficulty to face a season with so many important competitions to face:

“The most important thing for us is to go game by game, tomorrow it will be a really tough game [at Stoke], we must prepare this game in all situations, tactical, physical, discipline, we are working very well, I am please for the commitment and behavior of my players. Sometimes it can happen [a player of ours gets] a red card.

“This season for sure this will be a great challenge for us, to face all the competitions with our squad, to be ready to play, tomorrow Stoke, then we have to play on Wednesday with Atletico, then Man City. It won’t be easy to have three tough games in a very very close time.

“I think that my team and I always thought to work hard. We were focused on the pitch, this is the right way if you want to build something important.

“We must know the competition, it’s not easy to find the right balance in every moment to give the chance to every player, it’s normal to do rotation, to face three competitions in one season is not easy, it’s not easy to manage players that don’t play regularly. Every competition is important, I don’t think some teams start certain competitions thinking is better to lose or go out, we want to win in all four competitions, it’s normal sometimes you pay something in these competitions, when you have big rotations.

Charly Musonda jr. and Kenedy started and scored against Forest in the Carabao Cup game, using the chance Conte gave them:

“Don’t forget that we have been working with Musonda and Kenedy since last season, since January, I am pleased to work with them, they are two players that got a good prospect, they have to continue very hard in this way.

“In the last match I felt a great atmosphere in the changing room, the right link, this is the right way because the season is very long and for sure I have to give them the opportunity to show me they are learning and improving, probably in the two national cups.”

Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma is playing at Stoke City in a season-long loan after recovering from a knee ligaments injury:

“For Kurt this season is very important to play,” Conte claimed.

“After a really bad injury – because it was not a normal ACL injury, it was REALLY bad. He’s playing very well, this season for him is very important, he can improve, he can find the best fit, I’m pleased for him and I hope to see him tomorrow to say ‘hello’ to him.”

The decision to send him on loan was taken both by Conte and the club, as the manager confirmed:

“Don’t forget that every decision I take, I take it with the club. It’s always important to know this, but in this specific case it was important to send him on loan for this season to play regularly”

 

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Former Chelsea captain and club’s legend John Terry showed gratitude as he called Diego Costa ‘an unavailable player and one of the nicest and funniest guys’ in football world.

“Good Luck Diego Costa in your next journey my friend, – he posted on Instagram – An unbelievable player and one of the nicest and funniest guys I have met in football, playing against him in training and games was an absolute nightmare, one of the best and underrated players I have played with and against”.

“He gave everything for our club every time he wore a Chelsea shirt and was a born winner. Going to miss you mate. Good luck to you and your family.”

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Chelsea AWOL striker Diego Costa has arrived in Madrid ahead of a £57.2 move to Atletico.

When asked about his relationship with Chelsea players,  manager Antonio Conte and the fans, the Spaniard said: “I’m not upset with anybody, I have no bitterness towards anyone: everything is cool. Everybody knows how much I love the fans.”

Diego Costa was crucial in Chelsea’s title run last season and scored 52 goals providing 16 assists in 89 appearances with the Blues since he joined the West London side in 2014 from Atletico Madrid.

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Chelsea star Tiemoué Bakayoko was involved in a little car crash today but, luckily, with no major consequences for himself.

The French midfielder lost the control of his car as he drove past a bend at Blundel Lane in Oxshot – near Cobham Training Ground– around 3:30pm this afternoon.

The Police recovered the vehicle an hour later but Bakayoko himself did not suffer any significant body injuries.

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