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“This man is the devil, leave my club” – angry Chelsea fans fume and call for Antonio Conte to leave after under-pressure boss names unusual XI against Burnley

Chelsea can close the gap on top-four rivals Tottenham to just five points by beating Burnley tonight, but Antonio Conte has opted to rest several key stars at Turf Moor.

The reason for the Italian’s caution is perhaps understandable as the Blues face Southampton in an FA Cup semi-final three days later.

But many Chelsea fans have taken issue with what could be seen as Conte admitting defeat in the race for Champions League qualification.

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After the team was announced for Thursday’s Premier League game, multiple Chelsea supporters took to Twitter to express their dismay and even call for Conte’s head.

Mod – aka @HazardChaos_ – wrote: “Antonio Conte is playing 7 defensive minded players (excluding TBO) against Burnley in a must win match leaving our best player on the bench.

“Wallahi this man is the devil, leave my club.”

Twitter user @sixtee_gae_one – who has changed their display name to #ConteOut – added: “Spurs drew and we have a chance to close the gap to 5 points. What does Conte do? Starts Pedro and Bakayoko, leaves out Willian and Hazard. Im sick”.

Chelsea’s decision to rest both Eden Hazard and Willian is perhaps all the more surprising considering they lost 3-2 at home to Burnley earlier in the season.

Why has Conte not seen that defeat as a sign that Burnley should not be underestimated?

Not all of Conte’s high-profile omissions are voluntary. Left-back Marcos Alonso drops out of the side as he is suspended after being given a three-match ban for a stamp on Shane Long at the weekend.

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