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Antonio Conte: Latest injury and fitness news ahead of Sunday's game away at Southampton


Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has confirmed that midfielder Cesc Fabregas is not available for this weekend's game against Southampton.

The Spaniard is still out with a thigh injury but defender Branislav Ivanovic is finally back in the squad and ready to face Claude Puel's side.

"[Cesc] Fabregas is not available but [Branislav] Ivanovic is fully recovered," Conte declared.

"Apart from that all players are available, then I have to make the best decision on the starting 11.

"I watched the video of the West Ham game. I think we played a good game with good intensity against a tough team. They played with the same players who played in their last league game. We started well but then conceded and that changed the details.

"I would have preferred to stay in the game and to have not conceded the second goal, but I saw a good reaction and spirit. We had chances to score, we could also have had a penalty.

"I saw a lot of things that can be useful for the future, for example I saw Pedro as wing-back and Oscar as one of the two midfielders, and then Oscar in a position like a striker. I had positive answers and I want to use that in the Premier League. Now I have more solutions.

"This league is very difficult because in every game anything can happen. For this reason it's important to get consistency in results and performances.

"There are five teams who are very close but we shouldn't look at the table, we must be focused on our work on the pitch. It's too early to talk about the table or the title. We must improve game by game and trust in the work, that's the most important thing."

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Antonio Conte, Branislav Ivanovic, Cesc Fabregas