Conte confirms one Chelsea man out of Arsenal clash, provides Eden Hazard injury update
Chelsea will host city rivals Arsenal at Stamford Bridge today, with Antonio Conte keen to get a win over them, having suffered defeat in the previous two meetings between the teams.
With both clashes being held at Wembley Stadium for silverware, the Italian’s side has finished on the losing end, with Arsene Wenger’s team lifting the FA Cup and Community Shield.
However, Chelsea have enjoyed more success when it comes to Premier League football, having beaten the Gunners in their last five home matches, scoring 15 goals in the process.
The Blues have not been short of confidence in front of goal recently, having netted six past Qarabag on Tuesday in the Champions League and scoring twice in all of their league games so far.
Conte will be pleased that he has no major injury concerns going into the London derby, however, he admitted he will be cautionary when picking his starting XI.
“I have another day to check on the physical condition of my players and then I’ll try to make the best decision for the Arsenal game,” he told the club's official website.
The Blues will have been buoyed by the news that their captain, Gary Cahill, is ready to return to the side, having missed the previous three league games through suspension, having been sent off in their opening day defeat to Burnley.
Eden Hazard has continued to return to the team from an ankle injury, having made an appearance in the previous two matches from the substitute’s bench, and the Belgium international is expected to push for a starting spot.
“For sure he’s improving,” Conte said of the Chelsea attacking talisman.
“Having this patience with him is paying off. He is very close to being totally fit.
“We have to continue in this way. I have to make the best decision for the team and the players, but he’s improving a lot and is very close to being 100 per cent fit.”
However, deadline-day signing, Danny Drinkwater, is set for a spell on the sidelines, after he picked up a calf problem during a training session, with the former Foxes man not expected to make his debut for the Premier League champions until after the next international break.