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That has not been the case this season, and already the Stamford Bridge outfit are struggling in their bid to defend the title-they are nine points behind league leaders Manchester City.

MEMORABLE MEETING May 2017 saw Chelsea play their first game since being crowned last season's Premier League champions. Now, this season, we are trying to rebuild something at Chelsea. The players' commitment was very good against City and Roma.

Conte says he is unwilling to rush Drinkwater into action too quickly but had a more positive update on Kante, with the France worldwide now expected to return before the next global break at the beginning of November.

Chelsea have the unwanted record of being shown the most red cards in the Premier League this season (three).

But Conte says his players can not afford to be afraid as they face up to their growing list of problems.

Conte said: "I think these are stupid things". "I have my methods".

"The reality is we have gone three games without a win and we will try to get back to winning ways on Saturday".

"Alongside that we are having important injuries and everyone knows we don't have a enormous squad".

Chelsea has played 13 games so far in this campaign, recording seven wins, two draws, and four defeats, with a goal difference of 30:15, which is around 3.5 goals per contest on average. As well as putting players through physically demanding tests, Conte has them sit through tactical and video sessions.

Chelsea opted to bring in Tiemoue Bakayoko as a like-for-like replacement but it seems as if the 23-year-old still needs time to develop and adapt to the rigours of the Premier League. I think every coach, every manager has to feel the pressure.

"I don't want my players to give up, and that is impossible when the result is open".

The Italian on Wednesday responded to Mourinho's thinly veiled barb about rival bosses "crying" about injuries, telling the Manchester United manager to concentrate on his own side.

They have lost three times in eight matches - their second-worst start to a Prem season since Roman Abramovich took over in 2003.