Conte’s pre-match presser: Chelsea boss confirms key duo will miss Manchester City clash

Antonio Conte would expect his team to put up a commendable performance on Sunday when Chelsea host runaway league leaders Manchester City in the Premier League on Sunday. After taking the lead at Manchester United last weekend, the Blues suffered a 2-1 defeat, succumbing to their seventh league loss of the season.

On Sunday, they face a rampant Manchester City side that is fresh from winning the Carabao Cup and thrashing Arsenal twice in a space of just 5 days.

Conte will have to find a solution to take his team out of the rut on Sunday. A defeat against City would further dampen our top four hopes.

Team and Injury News

Speaking in his pre-match presser, our boss confirmed that David Luiz, Bakayoko and Ampadu are unavailable for Sunday’s game due to injuries.

Ross Barkley wasn’t selected in Chelsea’s matchday squad to face Manchester United but Conte said the midfielder has trained with the squad this week and has recovered from his recent injury.

“Ross Barkley this week he trained with us. Now he recovered from his injury. He will come with us to Man City. I don’t know whether I find a place for him on the bench or the stand for another week,” our gaffer explained (quoted by Mirror).

On the prospect of facing City at home, the Italian added:

“I think we must have a great admiration for this team. Because they are doing and they are having a fantastic path in this season.

“It’s very difficult to find a weakness in this team. I think that when you work very well, and there’s great feeling between the manager and the club, you can work the way you want.

“They have the possibility to spend a lot of money. when you link the two situations: a good manager, money to spend and the same ambition, this is the final result.”

Chelsea face a fight to stay in the hunt for top-four, with the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham all ahead of them.

Asked about the club’s ambition in the Premier League this season, Conte admitted:

“This is not a question for me, the club has to show the ambition. The coach has to work. The club has to show the ambition. When you play this type of game, this team, they are showing to be very strong.

“You try to stop them with a tactical plan or you risk to lose in a bad way. For us, in this moment, we have to try to get a place in the Champions League. It won’t be easy, there are many teams that are very strong, we must be very ready to fight.”

Summer signing Alvaro Morata has come under scathing criticism in the last couple of months for his inability to find the back of the net consistently.

Conte says Morata, who has just returned from a back injury, needs to be patient and continue doing hard work.

“He has to work and to recover the best form,” our manager added. “After an injury in his back, he has to have patience, we must have patience, the only way is to work.”

We need to stand up and deliver against City on Sunday. A win would work wonders for us and would help us close the gap on second-placed Manchester United, who face Crystal Palace on Monday.

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