Blues still without skipper

Chelsea will still be without the injured John Terry when they visit Hull City in the Premier League on Saturday.

Chelsea: Blues still without skipperChelsea: Blues still without skipper

The captain and central defender suffered an ankle injury in the recent 2-2 draw with Swansea but, despite optimism that he would, he has not recovered in time.

The defender has missed the last three matches with an ankle injury sustained against Swansea and his earliest possible return will be on October 15 against Leicester.

Defender Kurt Zouma continues his rehabilitation from his long-term knee injury, while midfielder John Obi Mikel is out with a “small muscular problem”, head coach Antonio Conte said.

Meanwhile, Conte says there is no magic solution to Chelsea’s troubles. The Blues, champions in 2014-15 and 10th last term, have lost their last two Premier League games, to Liverpool and Arsenal.

Chelsea have one clean sheet in 15 matches in all competitions and two in the last 25 ahead of Saturday’s trip to the KCOM Stadium.

“We haven’t got a magic wand to change the situation in two months, three months, four months,” Conte said. “We don’t forget the past. The past is there, it’s very clear. We finished (in) 10th place last season.

“When you finish 10th, it means you have problems. We must change the situation and we must work hard together and we are doing this. At this moment, that’s the most important thing: not to win, (or) to lose.

“But to understand that only through great work, hard work, can we fill the gap that now we have.”

September passed with Chelsea failing to record a Premier League win. The only success in four games was in the EFL Cup against Leicester.

Conte believes Liverpool, 2-1 winners at Stamford Bridge, and Arsenal, 3-0 winners in last week’s derby, are at their best, while Chelsea have room for improvement.

“In these two games we saw, and we learned, a lot of important things,” he added. “We faced two teams who are very strong and, for me, these two teams are now at the top (of their games).

“We have a lot to improve. This is the great difference. This is also the great hope that we must have.”

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