Kante and David Luiz doubtful for Chelsea's clash with Middlesbrough

The Premier League leaders could be without a key duo when they take on struggling Boro, although goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is fit for duty

N'Golo Kante and David Luiz are fitness doubts for Chelsea's pivotal home Premier League match against Middlesbrough on Monday.

Chelsea need three wins from their last four games to be certain of winning the title in Antonio Conte's first season in charge at Stamford Bridge.

But they could be without two key performers in midfielder Kante, who has only missed one top-flight match all season, and defender David Luiz against Boro.

Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, though, is fit to play having hurt his ankle in the win over Everton last time out, the same game that saw an injured David Luiz have to come off late on.

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"This week we are struggling with two situations about David Luiz and N'Golo," Conte said at his pre-match media conference.

"I think there are three days before the game and I have the time to make the best decision.

"I have to check the two situations and then to try to make the best decision for the Middlesbrough game and the other games.

"Kante had a little muscular problem - thigh muscle - not a great problem. For this reason I have to consider the right way for him, if he is to play against Boro or not.

"But Thibaut Courtois trained Thursday and Friday and I don't see any problem about him."

Conte believes Chelsea are in for a tough game, with Boro still in with a mathematical chance of avoiding relegation.

"There are two teams with desperation to find the result," he said.

"Middlesbrough have to win if they want to stay here in the next season. It is the same for us - we have to win.

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"For this reason I think Monday will be a good game. We must be ready, ready to fight and find the way to take the points.

"Our plan is to continue to work, prepare for these final four games and the FA Cup final. That is our only plan, to be prepared for these games.

"This part of the season is not easy because there is a lot of pressure. It is important we don't make mistakes because it is difficult to recover."

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