Conte predicts three-week absence for Chelsea star Kante

Zaha returned to training last week

Zaha returned to training last week Credit AFP

Injuries mean that Chelsea are also without the likes of Danny Drinkwater, who joined in the summer from Leicester.

He is expected to be out for a further three weeks, meaning Conte could again select an inexperienced bench.

"In midfield we only have Bakayoko and Fabregas available".

Michy Batshuayi is also in line to start up front in Morata's absence although Conte may favour a more fluid front line involving Pedro, Willian and Eden Hazard.

"He is a big loss for us because we know very well the importance of Kante to our team", said Conte. Maybe this scan will be better than the one before.

Speaking ahead of the trip across London to rock-bottom Crystal Palace, the Italian said: "We are going to do a scan next week to check his situation, to see if he's improving, but for sure he's got a hamstring problem".

"Danny is progressing well but is not ready yet".

"We may have to adapt some defenders into midfielders".

"It will be very hard play Fabregas and Bakayoko for seven games in a row and we must hope we don't get any more injuries during this time". "When I chose to use him in the midfielder against Tottenham, it could be an option if I play with three midfielders. Or give an opportunity to young players like Ampadu or Scott".

Striker Morata missed global duty with Spain due to a hamstring injury sustained against Manchester City on September 30, but initial fears of a long lay-off have receded. However, Conte provided positive news regarding the Spaniard, with the former Real Madrid star could be back in time to face Roma on Wednesday (18 October).

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