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Antonio Conte likens Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas to Andrea Pirlo

Cesc Fabregas gestures after scoring Chelsea's third goal
Image: Cesc Fabregas scored against old club Arsenal in Chelsea's 3-1 win

Antonio Conte says he is finding it difficult to leave "genius" Cesc Fabregas out of the Chelsea side.

Fabregas came off the bench to score against old club Arsenal last weekend, but the Spain star has found regular football hard to come by this season following N'Golo Kante's arrival.

Conte has started him just five times in the Premier League, and Fabregas is again likely to be among the substitutes at Burnley on Sunday, live on Sky Sports.

However, ahead of that game, the Italian has paid his midfielder a huge compliment by comparing him to one of the Azzurri's most decorated players.

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"Cesc is a top player and is a genius at football. I can talk in the same way about Andrea Pirlo," Conte said. "Cesc if he doesn't run 100 metres in 10 seconds, I can allow him this, because he's a genius with the ball. His velocity is in his mind.

"Sometimes you must make the decision and to look the balance of the team. And sometimes you must make different decisions. For me Cesc is an important player, and I try to put him always in the best condition to give us his best for the team.

"Don't forget in his place is playing Kante. A lot of people spoke that he is the best player in the league. Then there is Matic that I think is playing in an outstanding way.

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Chelsea 3-1 Arsenal

"When you have two players in front of you playing so well it's not easy. It's the same for Willian and Pedro. For me, sometimes it's very difficult to sleep and to make the best decision.

"But I prefer to have this type of problem. The most important thing is these players are totally involved in the team. Cesc is playing with us and is very important for the team."

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