Chelsea supporter and The Times journalist Giles Smith has defended his club over queries regarding their depth.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp questioned the strength of Antonio Conte’s squad recently when he suggested that the Reds were performing well without Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge.

However, the Blues cast aside any doubts with a 3-0 result over AFC Bournemouth on Boxing Day to take their winning run to 12 matches while star striker Diego Costa and key midfielder N’Golo Kante were suspended, and club captain John Terry remained on the sidelines.

Smith wrote on “Jurgen Klopp, we noted, had taken some time out from fumbling heart-warmingly with his spectacles to question the depth of our squad in the run-up to this game.

“His claim was that Chelsea‘s season had yet to be tested by injuries – unlike Liverpool‘s, who lost Philippe Coutinho to ankle damage in late November, and who never seem to be more than 10 or 15 minutes away from losing Daniel Sturridge to something or other.

“Now, I love the cuddly German as much as the next person who doesn’t support Liverpool, but we need to raise a small issue with him here at the level of basic fact.

“Our club captain has been injured for almost the entire season.

“Our club captain! The captain of our club!

“And that’s before you mention Willian‘s calf injury, which took a while to rehabilitate, and the fact that Eden Hazard had to miss the game at Sunderland which we won 1-0.”