Conte upset about Kante’s absence in the next few games

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Kante is ready to pack his bag off the field as he returned injured from France duty.The midfielder could potentially be out for four weeks adding to Chelsea’s woes.

Manager Antonio Conte will have to look for better defensive strategy that used to be provided by the French international for backup.3-4-3 formation that involves three defenders needs defensive role playing midfield that can recover the ball.

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Kante limped out of Les Bleus’ win against Bulgaria last Saturday and, although Chelsea are awaiting the results of a second scan, Conte fears his midfield dynamo will be out for the next seven games.

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.”

“This is a big loss for us. We know very well the importance of Kante in our team and we don’t have another player with the same characteristics. We only have Tiemoue Bakayoko and Cesc Fabregas [in midfield] and we have to approach seven games in one month.

“We have to find different solutions and adapt some defenders into midfield or give young players opportunities, like [Ethan] Ampadu or [Kyle] Scott.”

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Going further on Kante’s likely absence, Conte added: “The previous scan [showed he would be out] maybe around 20-25 days. You must pay great attention to understand the situation to see if this [second] scan is better than before.

Morata also injured will leave a loophole in Chelsea’s attack at Selhurst Park,while Danny Drinkwater is yet to make an appearance.

“I hope to have Morata back very soon, hopefully for the next game against Roma [on Wednesday],” Conte added.

“Danny Drinkwater is progressing well and we must have patience with him.”

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Among the centre half the one most likely to step up for midfield role is David Luiz , who has performed there previously, but Conte is concerned with the idea of simply shifting a problem from one area of his team to another.

“We are talking about adapting a player that for me is very important,” he said.

“David Luiz is one of the best central defenders. If I can, I prefer to not change a lot. If you try to find a solution [in midfield] you lose something with the defence.

“When I decided to utilise him in midfield against Tottenham, we played with three central midfielders. That could be an option if I play with three central midfielders but I don’t want to change a lot.”