As Chelsea return to training this morning and begin the process of unpacking the lessons from Tuesday night’s fiasco, the team’s number one concern may not have anything to do with what happened during that ridiculous loss to AS Roma. The biggest issue that the Blues need to resolve by Sunday is N’Golo Kanté’s fitness, which has seen him miss all six games in October after injuring his hamstring while playing for France.
Conte had been hopeful to have Kanté back for Tuesday’s game already, and apparently waited until the last few hours before kick-off in Roma, but the reigning Premier League Player of the Year eventually ruled himself out and then rated his own chances at just 50-50 for the weekend.
But according to multiple reports, including the usual three suspects in the Telegraph, the Guardian, and the Mail, Chelsea are confident that Kanté will be ready to return to action by Sunday.
Conte is ready to push Kante back into action against Manchester United on Sunday to solve #Chelsea’s defensive vulnerabilities. [Mail]— Chelsea HQ (@Chelsea_HQ) November 2, 2017
#Chelsea’s coaching staff are confident N’Golo Kante will be fit to play in the Premier League game against Man United on Sunday. [Guardian]— Chelsea HQ (@Chelsea_HQ) November 2, 2017
#Chelsea will attempt to push N’Golo Kante into returning from his hamstring injury against Manchester United on Sunday. [Telegraph]— Chelsea HQ (@Chelsea_HQ) November 2, 2017
Conte has been very careful in not pushing Kanté back into action too soon, but times may be desperate enough to give a couple well-placed prods to get the midfielder playing, especially, as the Telegraph reveals, with Bakayoko continuing to push through the pain and playing with a lingering knee injury, with Fàbregas playing nearly every minute so far this season, and with Drinkwater still coming up to speed both physically and tactically.
Sounds like one way or another, Kanté will be out there. He has to be.