Antonio Conte confirms Chelsea have Alvaro Morata available to face Roma, but says his squad is “thin”.
The former Juventus striker missed the weekend defeat to Crystal Palace, but he’s back in contention for tomorrow’s Champions League clash.
“Alvaro is in contention for tomorrow’s game,” Conte assured in his pre-match Press conference.
“Is it important that he starts? You can answer that…
“We know very well what our situation is, and for sure when there are injuries of this type, important players, it’s very difficult for us.
“It’s very difficult, but that’s the situation and we have to be very good to overcome it and try to do our best.
“It’s not simple when you don’t have players like Morata, or [N’Golo] Kante or now [Victor] Moses, three important players.
“I think that the problem is that the same players are always playing, and also in our team we have players who aren’t used to playing three games in a row.
“For Kante it’s the first time, for Moses it’s the first time, for Morata it’s the first time playing three games in a row regularly, for Alonso it’s the same.
“When you have a lot of games you need to rotate players and [right now] it’s not possible, so I have to take risks.
“Then for example against Manchester City, Morata was injured after 20 minutes, but if I don’t put Morata in the starting XI then you’ll tell me that I’m crazy.
“I understand that sometimes the players need to rest.
“The situation is difficult because we have to play every three days, at the moment we’re very thin and the same players always have to play.
“Honestly there is the risk of having other injuries. I hope not, but I think the best way for us now is to go game-by-game, then to decide in every game which is the best formation and sometimes to take risks or not on our players.
“As for Morata, Honestly I could have taken the risk on Saturday to force him to play against Crystal Palace, but I’m not that stupid.
“Then you have to make the best decision, and for sure tomorrow I won’t be taking a risk if I decide to play Morata.”
Daniele De Rossi has always spoken very highly of Conte, and the feeling is definitely mutual.
“I have huge esteem for him, I was fortunate enough to coach him, with Alessandro Florenzi and [Stephan] El Shaarawy for an incredible journey.
“With Daniele you’re talking about a great player who had the will to stay at Roma for all of his career like Francesco Totti, proving themselves not only to be great players, but great men.
“It will be a huge pleasure to embrace them tomorrow, it’s difficult to consider them as opponents. In the 90s they might have been, but in general I’ve never seen them as opponents.
“Alessandro and Daniele will always be in my good graces for what they gave me in the national team, at a very emotional European Championships.
“Who would I take from Roma? It’s always difficult to answer these questions, it’s the group that counts and then within the group you’ve got some very good players.
“There are three players I know really well, De Rossi, Florenzi and El Shaarawy; I know their hearts, so I’d take their hearts.”