Antonio Conte has a number of selection headaches ahead of him as Chelsea host Marco Silva’s fourth placed Watford today at Stamford Bridge.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, the Italian provided a few updates on the fitness levels of some of his players. Danny Drinkwater, who is yet to feature for the Blues this season has reportedly returned to training, but is unlikely to feature for some time.
Conte called for patience with the Englishman, saying: “Danny is progressing well. He has started to work in a part of the session with us. Now it’s important to improve his physical condition. We must have patience and wait for the right moment for him.”
As for N’Golo Kante, Conte reported that the latest scans were ‘better than before’. The Blues are yet to win a single match since he picked up his injury in their loss against Manchester City, but Conte doesn’t seem to be expecting the Frenchman to return before November.
Victor Moses is unlikely to return for this tie and there have been concerns surrounding David Luiz and Tiemoue Bakayoko after they both complained about pain in their calf and groin respectively. Their involvement is also not guaranteed and Conte refused to divulge any information about the same.
When asked about the current state of his squad Conte said: “Honestly, at the moment, I can tell you nothing about the starting 11 for tomorrow. We have many doubts. I hope in the next 24 hours to try to recover some players.”
Deploying a 3-5-2 formation at this point seems risky, given their lack of midfield personnel. If Tiemoue Bakayoko is considered unfit to start, then David Luiz may very well have to start in midfield alongside Cesc Fabregas, but that isn’t something that Conte is too keen on.
Speaking on deploying Luiz in midfield in their Champions League match against AS Roma, he said: “I’m not happy to change the role of my players because everybody has their own role, but sometimes you have to adapt and you must be ready for this, that’s normal.”