This only highlighted the importance of such a vital player and the effect it has on the rest of the team and its supporters.
That loss was Chelsea's third in eight matches in the Premier League this season - only two fewer than the whole of the last campaign when Conte took them to the title in his first year in west London.
"When you have a lot of games you need to rotate players, and if this is not possible, I have to take a risk".
The likes of Roy Keane, Paul Ince, Patrick Vieira and John Terry has all the obvious characteristics required for the controversial role and at times it boosted their ability or even covered up for their shortcomings.
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As for Roma, they may also be without some key players for the clash. For Alvaro Morata, it's the first time to play regularly for his team. But the situation is difficult. He tried to walk it off but waved for a sub quickly.
Chelsea currently lead Champions League Group C with six points, with Roma on four points, Atletico Madrid on one point and Qarabag yet to get off the mark. When the Christmas pile-up arrives, he will have to be very careful with over-playing his team.
Fast forward one season, Chelsea now sit in fifth place after suffering back-to-back defeats.
"The Champions League is a really tough tournament", he said. An authentic battle of giants will meet two attacking-minded teams, and there is a lot at stake.
"He has trained with us and is in contention for tomorrow".
However, Victor Moses has been ruled out for around a month with a hamstring injury so Davide Zappacosta is set to get a recall in the right wing-back position. "We train very well to stay away from injuries and it is something weird that is happening now with the injuries". He too will be looking to establish himself as a regular member of Conte's starting line up this season and has already made a good impression on the fans so far. Chelsea has been very lucky with injuries for several seasons, but that run had to end eventually.
Moses, 28, played the entire duration of Nigeria's 1-0 win over Zambia in a World Cup qualifier that sealed the Super Eagles spot at next year's Mundial in Russia.