3 Key Players For Chelsea Going To Miss The Palace Match

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Chelsea will be without top scorer Alvaro Morata and midfielder N’Golo Kante for the trip to Crystal Palace on Saturday after the pair failed to recover from their respective injuries in time for the London derby.

Morata was forced off during the 1-0 defeat to Manchester City before the international break with a muscular problem in his left leg while Kante sustained a hamstring injury in France’s 1-0 World Cup qualifying win against Bulgaria last week.

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Morata is set to return to action in time for Chelsea’s Champions League game at home to Roma next Wednesday.

But Conte confirmed that Kante will be missing for about 20 days – ruling him out of both ties with Roma, the League Cup tie with Everton and potentially the visit of Manchester United in early November – because he still requires further scans to assess the damage in his hamstring.

Danny Drinkwater remains sidelined with a calf problem and, speaking at a press conference on Friday, Conte said:

“We have three injured players.

“Morata – I hope to have him back very soon. For the next game against Roma. Drinkwater is progressing well but he’s not ready yet. We must have patience with him.

“The last is Kante. We are going to do a scan next week to check his situation, to see if he’s improving. It’s a hamstring problem. He’s a big loss for us. You know the importance of him to our team – we don’t have a player with the same characteristic.”

When then asked how he would replace Kante in his team, Conte replied: “We have [Cesc] Fabregas and [Tiemoue] Bakayoko and young players too. We must be ready to approach the next seven games using a different solution.”

Chelsea Likely starting XI: Courtois(GK), Azpilicueta, Luiz, Rudiger, Zappacosta, Bakayoko, Fabregas, Alonso, Pedro, Batshuayi, Hazard.