Conte on Hazard, Batshuayi, Mourinho, Barkley, Carroll, Arsenal and his team selection

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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte spoke about a number of issues at a media conference ahead of the game against Arsenal. Here’s some of what the Italian had to say.

Conte on Eden Hazard

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“Eden is in good physical condition. He recovered from this little problem in his calf and is ready and in contention for tomorrow’s game.”

On whether Ross Barkley might play against Arsenal

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“Tomorrow is very soon, but we must be pleased because his physical condition is good.

“He has started to train with us, to understand our idea of football and the physical aspect and the tactical aspect.”

On when Barkley might be available

“I don’t know. Now it is very difficult to say, but at the same time I am very positive because the player is a good guy who is showing real will to work and a desire to help us very soon.

“This is very positive and I am very happy to have Ross with us.”

On facing Arsenal

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“The (recent) game against Arsenal was a good game and our performance was very good but we know very well which are the strengths of this team.

“We tried to study the game in the right way. For sure we must pay great attention because we are talking about a great team, and a big team.”

On whether he regrets recent comments about Jose Mourinho

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“(Do) I have this look of a person that regrets? I don’t think so. I think we both said things. We’ll see what happens in future.”

On his team selection

“It is important to make rotations but at the same time you must be very strong, because otherwise you risk dropping in this trophy.

“We tried to find a good balance to give the right opportunity and chances to everyone. because my players deserve the chance to play.

“This competition was important for us because we played with young players but at the same time we played with a strong team.

“Our run wasn’t easy. We reached the semi-final and tomorrow is another opportunity to make rotations compared to the last game. But we want to do our best and win and make the final.”

On Michy Batshuayi

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“It is not simple to be young and play in a great team like Chelsea.

“I am very happy for his commitment, his behaviour during training and happy when he plays and I call him to start the game.

“He is a young player that has a good future in front of him. He has to continue to work and have commitment.”

On the introduction of VAR

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“In Italy from the start of this season they are doing this. I think it is a good opportunity to improve our football, but at the same time it will be important to have a bit of time to use in the right way.”

On reports linking Chelsea with West Ham’s Andy Carroll

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“As I’ve said before, the club knows very well which positions we can improve. But I repeat, I’m very happy to work with my players and with the commitment of my players.

“Now there is the transfer market if there is the possibility to improve the squad, I think the club knows very well my opinions.”