Chelsea will be without Diego Costa and N’golo Kante when they play Bournemouth and manager, Antonio Conte knows he must work hard in replacing them.
Costa and Kante were both handed their fifth booking of the campaign in the 1-0 win over Crystal Palace, with Costa heading home his 13th goal of the season to lead the league’s goalscorers.
Both men have been mainstays of the Blues’ 11-match winning run that has established a six-point advantage over Liverpool at the summit and their absence leaves Conte with much to ponder.
“For sure, they are two important players for us, this is clear,” he told a pre-match news conference.
“But we are working very well this week to try to find the solution to play good football and continue to win and take the three points
“We know that against Bournemouth it won’t be easy because it is a very good team with great organisation.
“I have four days to evaluate the situation and to try to find the best solution for the team.”
Conte granted his players three days off this week, with Costa and Kante earning an additional 24 hours of recuperation, and the former Italy boss is keen to see some of his squad players take the chance to show their worth.
“I think it is important, this test to see the situation in our squad,” he said. “Also to give the possibility of play to some players who, until now, are not playing a lot, or to find some other solution.
“What my eyes see in this week are very important.