Antonio Conte has indicated he will make changes to the side for tomorrow’s game against Swansea, and he has urged those players who are given an opportunity to show their quality as we look to extend our unbeaten Premier League run.
The Blues head into the game against Paul Clement’s side in good form having taken 13 points from a possible 15 in our last five league matches.
With his team in action every few days across four different competitions over the next couple of months, Conte explained why it’s imperative he rotates his squad as he addressed the media at Cobham this afternoon.
‘The most important thing for us is to have all of our players available because in this period, which is very busy, it will be very important to have rotation,’ said Conte. ‘November, December and January will be a busy period, we’ve just started it and for this reason I need to rotate and get a good answer from my players.
‘I think to give the opportunity to my players will be very important because in this way we keep the concentration very high. The players who need to rest can do this. Don’t forget if you play every game and you stop to train, the probability of getting injured is very high. It will be important to create a good balance between games and training.
‘In every game I have to make the best decision and try to protect every player. I’d like to start every game with the best players but at the same time that’s not possible because otherwise I wouldn’t be protecting them. We have a long season. It’s not easy to leave great players to rest but I have to do this because I want the best for the team and the players.
‘I think we are trying to do our best. We started this season with a lot of problems and we have the points we deserve. Manchester City are doing something extraordinary, to win every game and draw only one means you are on a great path, but we need to look at ourselves and try to improve. We are improving a lot, becoming more solid and finding different solutions from a tactical aspect.’
With regards to player availability, Victor Moses, a sub at Anfield on Saturday, could feature, although Conte had less positive news about David Luiz.
‘I can tell you who isn’t available, it’s David Luiz with a new problem, Musonda, then Batshuayi and Kenedy are trying to come back to 100 per cent,’ explained Conte.
‘In this moment it’s very difficult to answer this question,’ he added, when asked how long David Luiz would be sidelined for. ‘The doctor will assess the situation very well and then take the best decision for the player, I don’t know.
‘Victor Moses is in contention for tomorrow’s game but I have to make the best decision for the team and every player. For sure Victor is back from a bad injury and he needs a bit of time to find the best physical condition, he is an important player.’
Swansea go into the game searching for their first Premier League win in over a month, but Conte expects a difficult test.
‘Every game in this league is very tough and we must pay great attention against Swansea,’ said the Blues boss. ‘Last season we drew away and won 3-1 at home, we played very well but at the end of the first half it was 1-1. It won’t be easy and you have to face every game with great concentration, great desire and the will to fight.
‘Paul Clement is a really good coach and last season he did a very good job with Swansea. It’s not simple to fight against relegation. I have great respect for Paul and his job.’
Conte was also asked about the form and fitness of Tiemoue Bakayoko, our summer signing from Monaco who has become a regular starter in his favoured 3-5-2 formation.
‘Don’t forget Bakayoko is a very young player, only 23,’ he said. ‘For many reasons he played a lot of games and I think he needs to improve in the tactical aspect and grow into our idea of football.
‘At the same time, for a young player to play with this regularity is not simple. He’s playing well and it’s normal you can alternate good performances with some less good. He’s working very well, I’m very happy with his commitment and behaviour, but he has a lot of space for improvement.'