Chelsea Team News: Two Key Men Return But Defender Misses Out
Antonio Conte has offered the latest team news ahead of Chelsea’s clash with Stoke City this weekend with two key men returning and one defender out.
Chelsea will be looking to cement their position at the top of the Premier League when they take on Stoke City at Stamford Bridge on New Year’s Eve.
Ahead of the game, Antonio Conte has been speaking to the media at his pre-match press conference this afternoon and he’s offered a team news and injury update.
The Blues have virtually a fully-fit squad to choose from with only John Terry on the treatment table as the skipper continues to nurse a niggling buttock injury that’s hampered him in recent weeks.
Conte has revealed that Terry has been able to train well this week as they look to rebuild his fitness but the centre-back isn’t expected to feature against Stoke tomorrow afternoon.
Terry hasn’t featured since suffering the injury towards the end of November and it’s capped what’s been a hugely frustrating campaign for the defender as he’s played just 6 minutes of league football since starting against Swansea on September 11th.
The 35-year-old has endured his injury problems but he’s been one of the main casualties of Conte’s switch to a 3-4-3 formation so even when he is fully fit, Terry isn’t expected to start in the Italian’s first choice eleven.
Chelsea will have two key players back in contention for the visit of Stoke with N’Golo Kante and Diego Costa available after serving one-game suspensions during the win over Bournemouth on Monday.
Both players are expected to come straight back in to the side this weekend – although Conte refused to confirm whether they will be given immediate recalls when quizzed by reporters today.
Here is what Conte said:
Conte says John Terry has trained this week and it's important for him to be brought back in the best shape. #CFC
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) December 30, 2016
Conte coy on Kante and Costa: "You'll see if I return [them] to the side tomorrow." #CFC
— Ben Dinnery (@BenDinnery) December 30, 2016
Conte will have to make at least one change in attack as Pedro is unavailable to face Stoke after collecting his fifth booking of the season last time out so you’d expect Costa to replace the Spaniard up front.
Chelsea head in to the weekend fixtures sitting six points clear at the top of the table so the west Londoners will be looking to at least maintain that advantage with a win over Stoke tomorrow.
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