Chelsea’s Conte set to shuffle pack for Qarabag


But this is their first time in the Champions League group stages.

Antonio Conte’s Chelsea, meanwhile, played no part in Europe at all last term.

It was an awkward sort of serenity for Chelsea last season, free to work with Antonio Conte, to revel in the luxury of preparation yet squirming in front of their big screens when the Champions League rolled around.

While Morata is making his mark at Chelsea, the man whose spot he has taken remains in limbo. That doesn’t mean we’re going to spend 90 minutes in defence.

Conte plans to manage his return to fitness with Sunday’s visit of Arsenal – live on Sky Sports Premier League – on the horizon, followed by a midweek Carabao Cup tie against Nottingham Forest.

If given the opportunity, Musonda will hope to make a greater long-term impact than those two predecessors while Chelsea will have similar ambitions of a lengthy stay in this season’s Champions League.

“For the Premier League, you always have the opportunity to win when you play for a club like Chelsea”. “It’s normal to prepare some rotations”.

“You can impact right up until the moment everyone goes out to play – and then you can’t impact anything”.

Conte said influential forward Eden Hazard, fit again after recovering from a broken ankle, will only be on the bench while new signing Danny Drinkwater is doubtful with a calf injury. The £35m midfielder, acquired from Leicester City under dramatic circumstances, is yet to make his debut for the Blues.

Diego Costa is still expected to remain absent as his exile from the Chelsea squad continues following a transfer stand-off between the Brazilian and the club.

His first season at Chelsea was eerily similar to that at Juventus and it only got better for the Old Lady under his meticulous training regime. This is the Premier League. “We will try to be competitive in a short time and not wait three, four or five years”.

Gianfranco Zola says Alvaro Morata needs to show more consistency if he is to be the flawless long-term replacement for Diego Costa at Chelsea. “It’s the biggest stage to be involved in in club football”.


Ever since the 3-2 opening day defeat to Burnley, Chelsea have done well to shake off the blues with three consecutive wins against Tottenham, Everton and Leicester.

Chelsea manager Conte expects selection gamble to pay off