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It is no secret Chelsea have had an erratic start to the Premier League season, but who would have thought John Terry’s absence would be so significant.
The 35-year-old has missed the past two games with an ankle injury, but reports suggest he could be available to face Hull on Saturday.
An experienced organiser on the pitch, Terry’s leadership is what sets him apart.
Conte will be desperate to include him in the line-up this week after his side shipped five goals in two games.
Not even the inclusion of a resigned David Luiz could compensate for Terry’s costly absence, which has resulted in two successive defeats.
Three wins to start the campaign and fans were singing Antonio Conte’s praises, but the momentum shifted when the Blues let a 2-0 lead slip at Swansea three weeks ago.
Gary Cahill dwelt on the ball in the back half, allowing an exuberant Leroy Fer to nip in and put the ball past Thibaut Courtois to make it 2-2.
A home defeat to Liverpool ensued, but the penny dropped when Cahill was again caught in possession the following week against Arsenal.
Alexis Sanchez was the poacher, coolly opening the scoring for the Gunners in what became a 3-0 drubbing.
Cahill may be the man to make way for Terry after his recent poor performances, as Conte looks to introduce the three-at-the-back system that worked so well for him at Juventus.
Conte may choose a back three of Terry, Luiz and one of either Branislav Ivanovic or Marcos Alonso in what becomes an important trip to Hull this weekend.
Kurt Zouma is also set to be available in October, so there is no shortage of defensive reinforcements if Chelsea’s poor form continues.
The Blues sit eighth on the league table and fans could be forgiven for being a little bit frustrated with their side’s start to the campaign.
They finished 10th last season, and with no European competition to contend with, Conte can focus solely on taking the club back to the top of the Premier League.