Conte’s press conference: Chelsea boss confirms that key trio is out for Man Utd clash + latest team news

Chelsea travel to Old Trafford to face Manchester United on Sunday, full of confidence after they drew 1-1 with Barcelona at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday in the first leg of Champions League round of 16.

Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho have had a war of words between them this season and that adds further spice to this tie. The last time Chelsea and Manchester United clashed in the Premier League, it ended in our favour as we ran out 1-0 winners at Stamford Bridge in November 2017; courtesy, Alvaro Morata’s header.

Team and Injury News

David Luiz is currently sidelined with an ankle injury and Tiemoue Bakayoko has a knock that he sustained in training which forced him to miss the game against Barcelona earlier this week.

Ross Barkley wasn’t selected in Chelsea’s matchday squad to face Barcelona and despite joining first-team training sessions, Conte feels that the midfielder along with Luiz and Bakayoko will miss the trip to Manchester United.

“No they are out. All the other players are available,” Conte said in his pre-match press conference (quoted by Mirror).

Our boss has confirmed that he faces no other injury concerns and there won’t be any player missing the game through suspension.

When asked how his team fared against Barcelona, the Italian added:

“For sure two different performances. After two bad defeats we won against West Brom and Hull and then another good game against Barcelona. It can happen to lose two games. Against Bournemouth we created many chances, Watford was a really bad game. This is the past, for this reason we must be focused for the next game and prepare in the right way. We are talking about at a really strong team.”

Conte was asked about Jose Mourinho, to which he responded:

“I think in the past both have said things. For me it is ok, I am not interested about talking about this topic.”

On the prospect of facing United at Old Trafford, Conte explained the team has “fantastic” and “physical” players and that his side will need to be focused from the minute one to achieve a positive result.

“United are always dangerous. They have fantastic players and this team is very physical, they have a great physicality. We must pay great attention because when you play Manchester United you have to know that anything can happen. It is a massive game for us and we have to do the best and do 120% of our strength to try to get three points,” our gaffer explained.

“We have to look at ourselves. To get three points would be very important for us and Manchester United. The run for the Champions League is open, there are many great teams and someone has to miss out.”

Conte also hinted January signing Olivier Giroud could start against United which means Alvaro Morata, who returned from injury against Barcelona in the second-half, will have to be content with a place on the bench.

“Olivier is working very well with us. I am pleased because it seems like he has been with us for a long time and not just two weeks. He is in contention and we will see what we decide,” said the Italian.

Come Sunday, we all could witness a mouthwatering battle at Old Trafford, not just in terms of two quality sides clashing against each other but also two equally classic tacticians locking heads.

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