Antonio Conte Chelsea
Antonio Conte will hope his Chelsea players put on a strong performance against Hull CityReuters

Sort out that defence and let Diego Costa score the goals – that will be the plan for Chelsea when they face Hull City in the Premier League on Saturday. After a bright start to the season, it has all gone awry for the Blues, who are winless in their last three EPL games, making this match against Hull one that they really need to win.

Antonio Conte, due to injuries, lack of confidence and age, has struggled to put a proper defence together, with the manner in which Chelsea were cut apart by Arsenal last weekend only highlighting the deficiencies in this team.

There obviously is no magic spell to suddenly bring Chelsea back to the levels of two seasons ago, and Conte will, no doubt, need time to try and instil some confidence and discipline into the backline.

"It's never good when you lose two games," Conte, talking about the defeats to Liverpool and Arsenal, said. "But I also think in these two games we learnt a lot of important things and we must work very hard to recover.

"It's important not to forget the past, because the past is very clear. We finished 10th last season and that means there were problems. Now, with great work and hard work we are trying to sort the situation; me, the players and the club together.

"We don't have a magic wand to change the situation in a few months. We must work hard together and we are doing this. We must understand that only through hard work can we close the gap. I think we faced two very strong teams who are at the top and we have a lot to improve."

That improvement will have to come without John Terry for this match, with the captain still not ready to play due to an ankle injury. Hull will hope that the absence of Terry gives them a better chance to find a way through the defence.

"We have to be ourselves," Hull manager Mike Phelan, whose side are also coming off heavy defeats to Liverpool and Arsenal, said. "We have to do our job defensively as a team and we have to have that mentality of taking the pressure when the pressure is on us.

"We have to manage the game and we also have to express ourselves to show our identity."

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