N’Golo Kante‘s uncommon penchant for ball restoration makes him a useful a part of Chelsea‘s midfield, however a hamstring damage threatens not simply to rule him out for 3 weeks – it might additionally harm the Blues’ bid to maintain tempo with the remainder of the Premier League’s excessive fliers.
A couple of losses in a row would see fourth-positioned Chelsea slip out of the coveted Champions League spots, such is the wonderful margin atop the desk. Whereas dropping Kante is a blow, Chelsea’s lenient schedule and succesful supporting forged must be sufficient for the membership to outlive in his absence.
The 26-yr-previous will probably miss the subsequent 5-to-six matches. Of these six tilts, solely three are league fixtures – two of which come towards final-positioned Crystal Palace and nineteenth-positioned Bournemouth. Neither aspect boasts midfielders that may dismantle Antonio Conte’s staff, although the Blues should additionally put together for a reunion with Nemanja Matic when Jose Mourinho returns to Stamford Bridge on Nov. 5.
One match doesn’t a season make, however a loss towards Manchester United might critically harm Chelsea’s title hopes. Nonetheless, it isn’t sufficient to categorically get rid of the workforce from contending a prime-4 end. Kante could be rushed again for this significant match, whereas Conte additionally considers his choices for a pair of Champions League tilts with AS Roma this month.
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It’s Tiemoue Bakayoko and Cesc Fabregas who should step up most in Kante’s absence. They would be the beginning males in Conte’s midfield, and supply sufficient high quality to no less than survive, if not match Roma’s trio of Kevin Strootman, Radja Nainggolan, and Daniele De Rossi. Fortunately, Alvaro Morata will even be again, although the previous Juventus man has by no means scored towards Roma.
Fabregas has slowly however assuredly figured his means again into Conte’s beginning lineup in current months, and Bakayoko has additionally helped Blues supporters overlook all about Matic, who it have to be stated would have additionally crammed in nicely in Kante’s wake. Nonetheless, Bakayoko’s 89.forty seven % deal with success price (19 tackles, 17 gained) is best than some other midfielder within the Premier League this season. That definitely helps assuage fears of complete calamity.
Different choices embrace Danny Drinkwater, who’s nearing restoration from a calf damage, whereas David Luiz and Andreas Christensen can even slot into midfield. Conte can afford to experiment towards Palace and Bournemouth, and in a League Cup tilt with Everton, maybe present kids like Kyle Scott and Ethan Ampadu an opportunity at first-staff minutes.
A sort schedule, sufficient overlaying expertise and restricted journey away from residence means Chelsea is poised to outlive this velocity-bump, and whereas depth can be examined, there isn’t a purpose to hit the panic button simply but.