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Chelsea: Boss looks to replace Costa

24 December 2016
Chelsea: Boss looks to replace Costa

"They also put four past Liverpool the last time I saw them play, but away from home they've only managed to win one of the last 10". Nathaniel Chalobah would be the closest thing to a like-for-like replacement, but the more static Cesc Fabregas' greater creativity ought to get him Conte's vote.

Bournemouth beat Chelsea in the final weeks of Mourinho's reign and Conte expects a challenge, especially with striker Diego Costa and midfielder Kante suspended after each accumulating five yellow cards.

Being without Costa could lead to Michy Batshuayi making a first Premier League start after 10 substitute appearances, although Conte will continue to be patient with the 23-year-old Belgium global following his close-season move from Marseille.

Manager Rafael Benitez of Newcastle United speaks to his players during the EFL Cup second-round match against Cheltenham Town on August 23. It's fantastic. It's very hard for me to say if it's positive or negative to play during Christmas. "But I prefer to be favourite on the pitch, with good results, with good performances, playing good football, keeping clean sheets, showing great passion during games".

"It's a pity to lose him, I must be honest, but also I can understand his choice because this type of situation can arrive only once in your life, to be a coach with your national team".

Quite simply, because Chelsea is the best team in the country right now.

Yaya Toure's return to form from a football equivalent of Siberia is a welcome boost for City, but I still don't think that defence is good enough and Ilkay Gundogan's latest longterm injury is obviously a massive blow.

Chelsea's manager Antonio Conte celebrates with his players after they won the English Premier League soccer match between Crystal Palace and Chelsea at Selh
Chelsea: Boss looks to replace Costa

The Cherries now have 21 points from 17 games and will be looking to get three points from their next game against the Blues in what would be a big upset.

'Chelsea have a very good squad and players of equal ability will come in', Bournemouth boss Howe said in his press conference.

But even though the Spanish worldwide, who leads the Premier League goal charts this season, is suspended for the game, Francis is still wary of the other threats that Monday's opponents hold. He has covered the Barclays Premier League and the Champions League since 1982 and has one of the world's most recognizable soccer voices.

The Argentine is the no-nonsense defender most Premier League teams require and he's shown this having made the fifth most tackles and interceptions combined (196) in 2016, while only three centre-backs have played more accurate passes than Otamendi (1376) this calendar year.

"That's important. It was a big plus for us".

"But I think, in these situations, we found the right balance".