Chelsea midfielder await analysis on injured French midfielder N'Golo Kante

N'golo Kante is comforted by France's coach Didier Deschamps
Image: N'golo Kante is comforted by France's coach Didier Deschamps

Chelsea will be hoping N'Golo Kante's hamstring injury is not a bad one after the French midfielder pulled up in Saturday's World Cup Qualifier.

Kante lined up in central midfield for the game in Bulgaria but was replaced by Adrien Rabiot after only 33 minutes.

Chelsea are already without transfer Deadline Day signing Danny Drinkwater with a calf injury, further limiting manager Antonio Conte's midfield options.

"It's a muscular problem behind the thigh," said France manager Didier Deschamps. "He will not be there Tuesday [against Belarus].

"It is fixed for Tuesday. Kante and [Adrien] Rabiot pretty much swapped. You need balance. Kante has a very important role.

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"Rabiot can play that role, but the output of N'Golo may have destabilised the team - though that doesn't take anything away from Adrien."

France won the game against Bulgaria 1-0 thanks to Blaise Matuidi's goal after three minutes. The win keeps them top of Group A by one point with one game left to play.

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Kante was impressive in Chelsea's Premier League title-winning campaign last season and Conte will be hoping his injury is not a long-term problem with Alvaro Morata and Drinkwater out injured and David Luiz suspended.

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