Chelsea boss Antonio Conte insists he has full faith in Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud despite overlooking both his main strikers for the 1-0 defeat against Manchester City on Sunday.
The Italian, who won the Premier League title in his first season with the club, was widely criticised for his negative tactics against the champions-elect.
Against Pep Guardiola’s side Conte played with Eden Hazard as a ‘ghost’ striker and left Morata and Giroud on the bench.
The Blues desperately need a victory against Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, having lost four of their previous five Premier League matches.
“For sure we have this option to play with Giroud or Morata as number nine,” Conte said. “We will see tomorrow which is my final decision.
“I trust and for sure I am working with both to bring them in the best physical form and condition.
“Morata is coming from a strange injury in his back. He was, for a long time, out. Giroud is working very well. He is working every day and is in good physical condition. I trust a lot in all my players.”
Conte also backed French midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko, who has not played since being sent off in the defeat against Watford but is back training after injury.
The Blues boss said the one “positive aspect” about Bakayoko being sidelined was that the 23-year-old had a lot of time to analyse the “bad performance”.
“His physical condition is not bad but don’t forget he is a really young player,” Conte added.
“This season we are paying for a bit for a lack of experience of many players but, about Baka, he has the right personality to become an important player for Chelsea – I hope in the present but for sure in the future.
“Don’t forget in the squad there are four midfielders. I have to trust – I must trust – in my players.”