Antonio Conte has provided some Chelsea team news ahead of the Blues’ Champions League return this week, report the Metro.
Chelsea face Azerbaijani minnows Qarabag on Tuesday evening. The game provides Conte with an excellent opportunity to give key players a rest and fringe players a chance to impress. The likes of Michy Batshuayi, Charly Musonda and Andreas Christensen could all feature.
One man who will not be involved, at least not from the beginning, is Eden Hazard. The Belgian is not yet fully match-fit, and Conte has confirmed that he will be on the bench against Qarabag, as the Metro report:
“Eden is in the group, in the squad, he’s working very well to find the best physical condition. But I think he needs a bit of time to continue to improve and to avoid taking stupid risks. He will be on the bench.”
Hazard may well be joined on the bench by Alvaro Morata. The in-form Spaniard has had a busy schedule since the start of the season and Conte has hinted that he could be given a rest on Tuesday. The Metro quote Conte, who says:
“Morata is playing very well, he’s scoring and totally involved in our style of football,’ Conte added. But don’t forget Morata played the whole game with Spain and then Leicester, I have to check many situations and then make the best decision for tomorrow.”
Giving Morata a much needed breather would also likely hand Michy Batshuayi a chance to impress.
There is also a fresh injury concern ahead of Tuesday’s game. The Metro quote Conte, who reveals that Danny Drinkwater has suffered a calf injury, presumably during training:
“Danny Drinkwater had a muscular problem in his calf and we are waiting to check the problem but only this, yes.”