‘All smiles’ – Chelsea fans in delight on Twitter at fitness boost ahead of Champions League clash

The Chelsea fans in the Transfer Tavern are desperate for the return of their midfield linchpin N’Golo Kante.

Antonio Conte’s secured another much-needed win at Bournemouth on Saturday as they continue to pursue league-leaders Man City. The current Premier League champions suffered consecutive defeats to Pep Guardiola’s Sky Blues and ‘basement boys’ Crystal Palace before rallying to beat Watford 4-2 at Stamford Bridge last weekend and then seeing off the Cherries as their season has been steered back on track.

But perhaps their brief dip in form- they also squandered a 2-0 lead to draw 3-3 with Roma in the Champions League- could be a consequence of the absence of Kante in the centre of the park. The former Leicester City man, who lifted the league title with the Foxes in 2016, was instrumental in his new club’s success last campaign and is now widely regarded as one of Europe’s best in his position.

His last appearance came in his team’s 2-1 victory away to Atletico Madrid at the end of September and Chelsea have arguably missed his athleticism and defensive capability. Tiemoue Bakayoko and Cesc Fabregas have generally been the midfield duo selected with the former’s tackling qualities complemented by the latter’s vision and technique. However, neither can compensate for the missing Kante- especially in the testing matches.

With that in mind, the resident Blues in our bar are relishing the prospect of his return against Roma on Tuesday…

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