Antonio Conte press conference: Chelsea injury update, Lampard reaction and Wenger ban

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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte held his customary pre-match press conference on Friday and discussed a wide range of topics concerning the club this week.

The Italian tactician is preparing his side for the visit of Arsenal this weekend, as they know a win over the Gunners would be a major step towards winning the Premier League title this season.

While the Blues currently boast a nine-point lead over both Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, with Liverpool and Manchester City a point further adrift, they look in a strong position moving forward.

However, Conte of all coaches will not allow them to get complacent or allow a dip in focus, and he will be buoyed by the fact that he has a fully fit squad to select from.

The former Juventus coach was complimentary of Arsenal and insisted that his side must learn from their loss last time these two sides met, but is confident that the home support will make a difference and has urged his players to play with intensity and go for the win.

While he also touched on various transfer rumours, Conte also addressed Frank Lampard’s retirement as the 38-year-old made his announcement on Thursday.

Naturally, given his history with Chelsea where he scored countless goals and enjoyed a trophy-laden spell, the immediate suggestion has been that he would prefer a return to Stamford Bridge in some capacity in the future.

Conte seemingly left the door open for that to happen, but insisted that he hasn’t spoken to the former England international as of yet but it will ultimately be the former midfield ace’s decision.

As for the game this weekend, Conte undoubtedly respects the threat that Arsenal pose, but is confident that his Chelsea side can step up to the challenge.

With regards to not having Arsene Wenger on the touchline beside him due to his ban, he remained pragmatic and insisted that he prefers to be close to his players and so it remains to be seen if that gives him any sort of edge this weekend in what is a hugely-important showdown.

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