Martin Keown names the one thing Chelsea players lack under Antonio Conte

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Chelsea were thrashed 3-0 by Roma on Tuesday evening, putting the pressure firmly back on Antonio Conte despite having racked up three consecutive wins.

The Blues look set to finish 2nd in their Champions League group and could therefore face a tricky round of 16 tie against the likes of Barcelona or PSG.

Meanwhile, the Premier League champions - who did not take part in European competition last season - are not exactly setting the world alight on the domestic front either.

Chelsea lie 4th in the table but are already nine points behind Pep Guardiola's runaway league leaders Manchester City.

Conte's relationship with the Chelsea board appears to be hanging by a thread and the future of the Italian coach at Stamford Bridge looks far from promising.

Retired Arsenal defender Martin Keown has taken up a career in punditry and believes there is one important thing lacking from the Chelsea players this season.

"Chelsea are struggling," wrote Keown in the Daily Mail. "Teams are now looking at their system and finding ways to punish them.

"The game was up when they were beaten by Manchester City. Chelsea knew they were second best that evening."

Hosting the title favourites, Chelsea were completely played off the park by Guardiola's free-flowing City side on September 30.

A shock defeat to Crystal Palace followed and Conte's hopes of retaining the title now look a distant dream.

The one thing Chelsea lack this season

Keown continued: "Chelsea have looked like conceding in almost every match this season. They may have showed fight to come back from 2-1 down to beat Watford but they could easily have lost that game.

"Antonio Conte has talked about hunger and hard work but really it is about belief. It looks like these Chelsea players no longer have belief."

The Chelsea players unquestionably lost "belief" in the 2015/16 season under Jose Mourinho and the Portuguese manager was duly sacked by Roman Abramovich a week before Christmas.

If Keown is indeed correct, Conte could also be shown the exit door by the end of 2017.

N'Golo Kante is considered a doubt but the "belief" amongst the rest of the Chelsea players will be tested when they host Manchester United on Sunday afternoon.

Eden Hazard
Martin Keown

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