Chelsea coach Antonio Conte says he has “doubts” as to who should be in his starting XI for Tuesday’s mega-clash against Barcelona.
The Italian has seen his future at the club questioned in recent months, especially after Chelsea fell to heavy defeats by Bournemouth and then Watford in the Premier League. The Blues have since bounced back, however.
Back-to-back wins over West Brom and Hull City, during which seven goals were scored and none conceded, have the Blues believing again. In Friday’s 4-0 thrashing of the Tigers, Conte was able to rest several of his stars and still register an impressive win. The likes of Cesar Azpilicueta, Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante played no part, while Cesc Fabregas and Pedro came off in the second half with the result already beyond doubt.
With newcomers Olivier Giroud and Emerson seemingly in fine fettle and injury absentees Alvaro Morata and Marcos Alonso set to return, Conte has an embarrassment of riches to choose from against the Catalans. It is a problem the 48-year-old welcomes, nonetheless.
“For sure it was a positive night for us because we had the opportunity to rest important players, key players for us,” he told reporters.
“But at the same time, I saw players in good form. To have a lot of doubts before the Barcelona game is important, because I have different options. Now we have three days to decide on them.”
Crunch period for Conte and his boys
Morale is currently high in Blues camp at the moment, and Conte is keen for things to stay as they are. The Italian has urged his charges to keep up the spirit as the club enters a testing period with both of the Manchester sides to come immediately after Barcelona.
“I think we lost two bad games, especially against Watford,” he added. “But we played a good game at the end of a busy period.
“Now I think again we have confidence, but at the same time, the next two weeks we have to play massive games and we need to be strong.
“We need to face the games against Barca, United, City and Crystal Palace in the right way.”