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Bad news for John Terry, good news for Kurt Zouma, hope for Cesc Fàbregas

Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte addressed the media this morning, and amid the usual prosaic answers — Chelsea have to work, work, work, fight, fight, fight; Arsenal are a good team; Wenger is a good manager; Premier League is hard; etc — he did reveal a few important things.

First, John Terry will not feature as he has not been able to recover from his ankle strain.

"John Terry is working hard but he didn't recover for the game against Arsenal. I don't know when he will play because it is important what the player feels, and the pain he feels."

Kurt Zouma also will not play still, but apparenly he's now ready to rejoin full training, seven months after tearing his ACL.  Conte expects him to be available for selection after the October international break, in time for the visits of Leicester City and Manchester United to the Bridge.

As far as Cesc Fàbregas, he probably won't start either.  Conte did not rule him out completely, so maybe there's some hope.  I wouldn't get those hopes up too high though.

"For Cesc [ Fabregas] this is a special game but the most important thing for Cesc now is that he is a Chelsea player and he is playing very well for Chelsea. I am seeing him very focused and concentrated during the training and he played a good game in the cup. It is a possibility he can start [against] Arsenal. I have another day to make the decision."

Conte then reminded everyone that defending is a team responsibility, not just the defenders', and there's plenty of room for improvement.

"When we conceded the goals, all the team conceded the goals and not only the defenders."

"It means we must improve and work together to improve the defensive situations. This problem was already there last season because Chelsea conceded 55 goals, and we must work a lot on this aspect because if you want to challenge for a championship, you mustn't concede so many goals. We are working to reach a level that is always high. It is normal when you start the work in a new team and you bring a new idea and methods that you need time, but I am confident about this and we trust in the work and I know we can improve a lot."

"We know tomorrow we face a good team and for sure they will fight until the end to win the title. Arsenal has good young players with great technique and good potential and organisation. They play good football. This is a big game between two big rivals and it is important to play a good game after the defeat against Liverpool."

-Antonio Conte; source: Chelsea FC


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