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Instead, 21-year-old Andreas Christensen got the nod from Conte to partner Antonio Rudiger for the rest of the game.

The Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois criticised his club's supporters' attitude and said it was detrimental to the team after they booed Antonio Conte's players' third consecutive goalless draw at home to Leicester City.

The Italian added: "We are preparing a friendly game for him this week and we will see his physical condition".

On Under-17 World Cup victor Hudson-Odoi, he added: "I think we are talking about a player with good potential".

News that Barkley is on course to return to Premier League action soon will be a welcome boost to Conte. Christensen has played a big role for the London side since the Brazilian's injury and played the full 90 minutes in their previous league game against Arsenal.

"Against Norwich, I made nine changes".

"That's why our relations went from bad to good and from good to very good because I was man enough to apologise".

"We played a lot of effort against Arsenal on Wednesday, then to play a really good team in good physical form like Leicester was hard".

Conte has said that both players are suffering with minor injuries and that he will not use either of the duo for the FA Cup third round replay at Stamford Bridge.

It seems very unlikely that Conte will apologise, and should make for a good game between United and Chelsea when they meet later this season.

"We are doing 120 per cent".

"There is a lot of speculation about the players, but of course we are happy with him, and we want to keep our best player". "You can win, you can lose, but the most important thing is to put all your strength on the pitch".