Antonio Conte for the first time started N’Golo Kante and Danny Drinkwater in a two-man midfield combination in the 5-0 win against Stoke City.

The pair who helped Leicester City to the Premier League title in 2015 were excellent on Saturday, and Conte admitted that he has been trying different midfield pairings, and was happy with the way Drinkwater and Kante played together.

The Chelsea boss said: “For me I spoke with them and for many reasons we waited five months to see the same couple of players that won the title with Leicester.

“I think this is another option, a good option when we decided to play with the two players. I tried to explore, to see the different options – Baka with Cesc, Baka with N’Golo, Drinkwater with Kante today.”

Conte then urged Drinkwater to continue the hard work.

He continued: “When we decided to play with two centre midfielders, to see again these players, it was good, it was positive.

“Now Danny has to continue to work and improve his form.”

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Chelsea is more than just a football club to me; it's a passion I share, and my affinity with the Chelsea badge is one that will last forever. As far as watching my favourite team is concerned, I'd rather miss a meal than miss a Chelsea game.