Chelsea boss Antonio Conte spoke about a number of issues at a media conference ahead of the game against Tottenham. Here’s some of what the Italian had to say.
Conte on Chelsea’s injury worries
“For sure we have two big problems in Courtois and Christensen and we have to check the real possibility for them to play, and then to play well.
“The most important thing is to be available but at the same time to be in the right physical condition. We have to check very well these couple of situations.
“We’ll see what is the real physical condition and if they are able to play again on Sunday against Tottenham.
“At the moment it is difficult for me to tell you with accuracy which is my choice for Sunday. We have to check these two situations.
“David Luiz is out I think at least for three weeks. He is recovering from a problem in his knee.
“The other solution is Gary Cahill to play in the middle. I trust in him. But we will try to recover Christensen. Ampadu is injured and is not available this season.”
On Ross Barkley
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“He has started to have training sessions. We prefer to have him training with the Under-23s and then to play on Saturday before coming back with us.
“We are talking about a player coming back from a bad injury – seven months without playing.
“We want to have patience with him and be sure before he comes back with the first team.”
On Cahill and Morata being left out by their countries
“We are talking about two great players and I’m sure that they have the possibility still to go to play in the World Cup.
“We have to respect the decision of the national-team coaches, but we are talking about two great players and I’m sure they are ready to play in the World Cup.”
On Morata’s form
“This period for Morata was very important. I think that last week and this week he has worked very well. I think he needed to work hard because, don’t forget, Alvaro was out for one-and-a-half months with his back problem.
“Now Alvaro is really fit, 100%, and ready to have an important final of the season – for Chelsea, and then to have the chance to go and play in the World Cup.”
On Alonso and Caballero making their international debuts
“This must be a great satisfaction for me and for the team. Caballero’s was his first appearance and Marcos Alonso too. We must be proud of this because the team have helped the players reach this target.”
On the importance of Sunday’s game
“For sure, this is an important game – an important game for us. Our target for this final (part) of the season is to take a place in the Champions League and reach the final of the FA Cup and, this season, try to win it.
“These must be our targets for this final part of the season. Sunday is an important game for us. If we win, we go very close to Tottenham. Otherwise, we continue to stay not so close and, with seven games to go, it will be difficult to take a place in the Champions League.
“Nothing is impossible. But we have to try to win every game, not to make a lot of mistakes, and don’t drop points.”
On whether Spurs are different without Harry Kane
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“I think we are talking about one of the best strikers in the world. I consider him one of the best strikers in the world. When you have a striker who scores 30 goals every season, for sure when he’s missing you can feel this.
“But, at the same time, Tottenham are an important team for the whole team. They have many important players – many talented players. They play good football with great intensity.
“Also, in the past they showed that despite Kane missing many games nothing has changed.”
On Courtois saying he will be at Chelsea next season
“I think this subject is for the club and for Courtois; the renewal of his contract. For sure he’s an important player for us. I hope to find a good solution.”