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Published: 13:54 | 9/3/18

Conte expects major Palace test


Antonio Conte is very respectful of Crystal Palace as his side pursue three crucial points this weekend.

Conte's struggling side's derby game Saturday is live on BT Sport 1, kick-off 5.30pm. With the champions totally outclassed against Manchester City Sunday, this offers a chance of some redemption.

Chelsea are in real danger of missing out on the top four, while Palace are in the relegation zone now – but Conte says that Roy Hodgon's side have been unlucky.

He said Friday: "They lost the last couple of games. They deserved more against Tottenham and against (Manchester) United. 

"We must pay great attention. We need to have a good performance, to get three points. We're playing against a really good team, with talented players."

Chelsea could be boosted by N'Golo Kante's return after he passed out last weekend because of illness. Tiemoue Bakayoko is a doubt, while David Luiz has suffered a setback as he struggles to overcome a knee injury. 

"N'Golo is fine," Antonio Conte said at his news conference. "He trained the whole week. He's in good form. He's fine."

Hodgson is wary, to a degree, of the sting of the dying wasp."Normally when you come against a team not having the best of times, that can be a very dangerous time to play them. They have fantastic players and are a brilliantly run club, a powerful club.

"We can only hope that we can reproduce the recent performances against similar opponents, and give them as good a game as we did against Spurs and United."

Chelsea's Premier League game against Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, 10 March is live on BT Sport 1 on the eir Sport pack [kick off 5.30pm].

Image: Getty Images

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