Chelsea will be looking to cement their position at the top of the Premier League table when they take on Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday lunchtime.
Ahead of the game, Antonio Conte has been speaking to the media at his pre-match press conference this afternoon and he’s offered reporters a team news and injury update.
The Italian coach has revealed that he will have to make late checks on the fitness of ‘one or two’ of his players before he’ll be able to settle on his starting eleven for the City clash.
However, when pressed by reporters for more details on who the injury doubts were, Conte was reluctant to divulge any specific names so it looks as though he wants to keep Pep Guardiola guessing over his potential line-up.
One player who Conte could be referring to is John Obi Mikel as the midfielder missed last weekend’s 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge with a muscle injury.
However, even if the Nigerian international is passed fit I don’t see Conte handing him a start as Nemanja Matic and N’Golo Kante have cemented themselves as the Chelsea bosses first choice pairing in the middle of the park this season.
The only other reported injury in the Blues squad is John Terry with the skipper expected to be out on the sidelines for at least another two weeks with a buttock injury that he sustained prior to the Spurs game last weekend.
We’ll have to wait and see whether Chelsea have any fresh injury concerns to worry about tomorrow but my guess is Conte will name an unchanged line-up for the sixth consecutive league game.
The west Londoners have been in superb form of late, winning their last seven Premier League games on the bounce to take them one point clear at the top of the table, so there is no reason for Conte to change a winning side against City tomorrow.
Here is what Conte told reporters this afternoon:
Antonio Conte reports he needs to check the physical condition of one or two players tomorrow before deciding his line-up. #CFC
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) December 2, 2016
Conte does not disclose which players will be checked: "I prefer to keep a secret." #CFC
— Ben Dinnery (@BenDinnery) December 2, 2016