Antonio Conte is considering pairing Danny Drinkwater and N’Golo Kante in a new-look Chelsea midfield for the visit of Manchester United on Sunday, according to the Guardian.
Chelsea were hammered 3-0 by Roma in the Champions League on Wednesday, with summer recruit Tiemoue Bakayoko and Cesc Fabregas both badly overrun in the middle of the park.
Kante has been out of action since he suffered a hamstring injury on international duty last month, while Drinkwater, a deadline day arrival from Leicester, has been restricted to a handful of appearances as a result of the calf injury he has only recently recovered from.
Conte has all but admitted his side cannot afford another defeat if they are to retain their Premier League crown and could reunite the former Leicester midfielders who were mainstays of the side which powered the Foxes to the 2015/16 title.
The pair have reportedly been working in tandem this week in training and Conte could be tempted to thrust them into action as he desperately seeks to rekindle the balance his side has been missing in recent weeks, particularly against Roma.
‘I need a bit of time to digest this loss,’ said Conte of the midweek defeat at the Olimpico.
‘Then I start stronger with more hunger, more desire because I don’t like to lose.
‘I don’t like the defeats. I try also to transfer my suffering to my players. Sometimes I am able to do this, to have a good answer.’