Date: 8th December 2017 at 3:36pm
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Antonio Conte has been speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturdays game at the London Stadium. Chelsea play West Ham in a game that is once again the first game of the weekend`s Premier League action.

As was the case last week, these are great games to win, as it heaps pressure on your rivals before their games kick off. It`s particularly relevant in this round of games given the two Manchester clubs meet head-to-head.

For Chelsea, though a game against the Hammers is never a walk in the park. With a new manager in place they will no doubt raise their game and push for the win that will give them ‘derby` bragging rights.

However, given their recent struggles at their new home, and the fact their squad is weaker, may give Chelsea the edge. Despite David Moyes side being in 19th position and without a win in eight games, Antonio Conte is fully aware of what`s at stake and what to expect come kick off time,

`It`s a bit strange to see them in this position,` Conte said. ‘They have a lot of good players with great talent. Also this is a very physical team. For sure they have the potential to do better. I hope not tomorrow, but after our game. I am surprised they have struggled.`

‘In their last game, I saw Manchester City struggling a lot before they won. It won`t be easy. And it`s a London derby. We must pay great attention.`


Also up for discussion was the fitness of the squad given the amount of games that the Blues are currently playing. Conte reported at least two absentees, David Luiz is still missing with a knee problem and Danny Drinkwater is out suffering with a fever.

`When you play every three days it`s very difficult. It`s impossible to keep your form at the best level if you play without training sessions. Your form can go up and down. This can be dangerous. Also, the risk of injury is very high.`

`I will try to rotate my players. Our squad is not so big, but I am giving my players the chance to show me they deserve to play. When I did this I received a good response from my players.`

Those quotes courtesy of the official Chelsea Website. It`s getting more difficult to predict Conte`s starting XI as he mixes and matches his formation to those players available. We have to hope whoever he picks, will be up to the task of grabbing the three points and leaving us all happy to enjoy the rest of the cold weekends action.

 
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