Conte on injuries, Mourinho rift, Pogba, dealing with Sanchez and whether he’ll take risks against Man Utd
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte spoke about a number of issues at a media conference ahead of the game against Manchester Unite. Here’s some of what the Italian had to say.
On whether Barkley, Bakayoko and Luiz are now fit
“No, they are out. All the [other] players are available.”
On his rift with Jose Mourinho
“In the past, both of us said things. I’m not interested to speak about this topic.”
On whether the pair will shake hands
“I’m not interested in this [question].”
On United’s Paul Pogba
“We are talking about a top player – talking about a fantastic player. I’m expecting to see him on the pitch. If he stays out then it will be better [for Chelsea]. I think Pogba is showing at United that he is a top player.
“But I must be honest, my focus is only on Chelsea. I’m not interested in what happens with the other teams. I’m really focused on my own team.
“I don’t like to go and watch what happens in other teams and give an opinion – it’s a lack of respect. We have to look at ourselves and try and do our best on Sunday.”
On whether United’s signing of Alexis Sanchez might make a big difference
“I think United were strong before and they are strong now. For sure, if you have a player like Sanchez you are stronger.
“My expectation is to see him on the pitch, either wide or as a number 10. But our situation doesn’t change; we have to prepare for the game.”
On Andreas Christensen’s mistake against Barcelona
“Personally, I forgot this mistake. When you are a player, you can make a lot of mistakes in your career.
“If I had to talk about all the mistakes I made in my career, we’d have to be here for one day. It doesn’t matter.
“Christensen is having a fantastic season and is showing great maturity. For me, apart from the mistake, his performance was great.
“I trust in him. This player is a player for the present for Chelsea and for Chelsea’s future for 10 or 12 years. He can also become the captain of this team in the future.”
On whether he might take risks against United
“When you want to try and get three points and try to win you mustn’t lose your balance. We have to play with balance, great intelligence, and understand the way we have to attack, counter-attack. We have to play with great attention, otherwise we will lose.”
On whether Olivier Giroud might start
“I think Olivier is working very well with us, and I’m pleased. It seems as if he’s been with us for a long time, not for just two weeks.
“He’s in contention. We’ll see what my final decision will be for the starting 11.”