Stoke manager Mark Hughes faces a headache in defence for Chelsea clash

Stoke manager Mark Hughes faces a headache in defence for Chelsea clash

Stoke manager Mark Hughes faces a headache in defence for Chelsea clash

Head coach Antonio Conte thanked Diego Costa for his contribution at Chelsea on Friday, but declined to discuss the fractious conclusion to the striker's spell at Stamford Bridge.

The Italian boss will be delighted that the vast majority of his squad will be fit for the clash.

"I'm pleased for Eden [Hazard] because in the last game he played very well but I think he played with good intensity, now his injury is overcome", Conte said in his press conference.

Hazard, meanwhile, made his first Chelsea start of the season in the 5-1 EFL Cup win over Nottingham Forest on Wednesday after breaking his ankle in June and Conte now considers his recovery to be complete.

ANTONIO CONTE says Tiemoue Bakayoko is fit to face Stoke despite suffering minor injuries in a vehicle crash.

Conte had texted Costa to tell the Spaniard that he was not in his plans for the future at Chelsea, with Alvaro Morata signed from Real Madrid in the summer as his replacement.

"It will be a huge test for us, but we have come up against Arsenal and Manchester United and taken points off them so we are confident of doing the same this weekend".

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"We must pay great attention tomorrow".

'Bakayoko is fine. It was a minor accident yesterday with his vehicle but he's fit and available for the Stoke game'. 'I'm working with my players and I'm happy to be working with them. He's expected to be back after the worldwide break.

He also suffered a fractured wrist during the match against Arsenal but has continued full training and can play through the injury for his side's upcoming matches.

Conte said: "Eden in the last game played very well. We want to thank him for his efforts last season with us, but not only last season, in the whole period he played for Chelsea". Don't forget, we won together last season.

Stoke, now placed 13th in the league, are on a three-game winless run since their 1-0 victory over Arsenal last month.

"In the last game I felt a really good atmosphere in the changing room, a good link between young and old, for sure I have to give opportunities to these players to show me they're learning and improving to help us in all competitions". But we have prepared very well and it's the first game of three in seven days.

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