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Antonio Conte explains Nemanja Matić absence against Manchester City

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Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Chelsea started a Premier League match with a slightly different look for the first time in a couple months, as the Blues took on title-favorites Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

After six straight games of unchanged lineups, it was Cesc Fàbregas instead of Nemanja Matić in the middle of the pitch next to N'Golo Kanté on Saturday, the Spanish midfielder making his first start since the trip away to Arsenal.  Matić wasn't even on the bench, which, combined with Conte's comments that hinted at a possible injury or two in Friday's press conference, led to speculation that the big man who's played so well over the past two months had picked up some sort of a knock.

And sure enough, a small injury was indeed confirmed ahead of kick-off.  Hopefully it won't keep the Spiderbeast out of action for too long.

Big test for Chelsea then and an even bigger opportunity for Cesc.