Chelsea manager Antonio Conte could call upon Tiémoué Bakayoko earlier than planned for their Premier League showdown with Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday (20 August).

Bakayoko, 23, joined the Premier League champions from Monaco for £39m in July but his start to the season has been delayed having undergone knee surgery in the summer. The powerful midfielder only returned to first-team training on Wednesday but a desperate shortage of midfielders could see him drafted into the starting XI ahead of schedule.

Cesc Fabregas' suspension after being sent off in the 3-2 defeat to Burnley rules him out of the trip to Wembley. Having offloaded a number of midfielders this summer, the Spaniard's dismissal left Chelsea with N'Golo Kante as their only midfield option.

With Conte seemingly unwilling to move David Luiz back into a midfield role, the Italian coach may have little choice but to call upon his new signing to start on Sunday.

"You you know very well our situation after two red cards, we are preparing very for this game. We must be focused on the pitch on the game and to try and do our best and not find an excuse," Conte told a press conference.

"Bakayoko is improving very well, he is not top physical condition but I think he could be in contention for the game because in this moment I don't have other midfielders available.

When asked if the French midfielder could start the game, Conte added: "I don't know, I have to decide, the situation could force me to take a different decision because in this moment some players are not 100 percent."

Eden Hazard also returned to light training this week after undergoing ankle surgery in the summer but the Belgium international will not be in contention for Sunday, with Conte insisting his side must show "patience" in his bid to return to full fitness.

Pedro meanwhile missed the opening game of the season due to an ankle injury of his own suffered in the defeat to Arsenal in the Community Shield. Conte explained the Spain international had returned to training but again felt pain in his ankle which could sideline him this weekend.

"Pedro has today has trained with us, he felt pain in his ankle. I don't know about his situation, it is difficult. I don't know if he is available for the bench or not on Sunday."

Alvaro Morata enjoyed an impressive debut despite Chelsea's wretched performance in last week's defeat to Sean Dyche's side, emerging from the bench in the second half to pull a goal back for his side before providing an assist for David Luiz.

Conte however stopped short of confirming the former Real Madrid striker will start against Tottenham, admitting the 24-year-old is also still working on returning to full fitness.

"Morata is another player who needs to continue to work and improve to the find right physical condition."

Tiémoué Bakayoko
Bakayoko underwent knee surgery during the summer. Getty