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Chelsea team news: Conte confirms misfit still out but stalwart returns to face Southampton

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has confirmed that Cesc Fabregas will not be available for the Southampton clash this weekend but Branislav Ivanovic returns.

The Spaniard was left out again in midweek as he continues to recover from a thigh injury, although the midfielder has struggled to get into the team whether he’s fit or not so far this season.

While he appears to be nearing full fitness again though he’ll be pushing for a place in Conte’s line-up, but the Italian tactician confirmed that this weekend’s clash with Southampton will come too soon for him, although Branislav Ivanovic will be available for selection.

“The situation for the injured players is the same but Fabregas is not available and Ivanovic is fully recovered,” he told the media at his pre-match press conference on Friday.

“Compared to the last games against Manchester United and West Ham United this is new. We have all the players available and then sure I have to take the best decision for the starting 11.”

Ivanovic had been struggling with a knock that he picked up on international duty earlier this month, but following the switch to a 3-4-3 and given the success that it has brought to Chelsea so far, it remains to be seen whether or not the Serbian international will be able to get back into the team any time soon.

As for Fabregas, the former Arsenal and Barcelona star has made just six appearances in all competitions so far this season as he hasn’t been favoured by Conte for the most part even when fit.

Nevertheless, it will be a frustration for him to continue to have to miss out with an injury, as he will hope that he can still play a major role for the club between now and the end of the season regardless of whether or not Conte doesn’t see him as an automatic starter.

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