Antonio Conte was able to report no new injury concerns when speaking to the media following final training before Wednesday night’s London derby.
The boss also told the conference at Cobham how successful the rotation of his team selections has been through a December month which was packed with nine games.
‘It is very important in my plan to involve all my players,’ said Conte, ‘and we are doing a really good job in this situation because we are making many rotations but at the same time our results are positive, and it means all my players are working very well.
‘My target is to have all my players in the peak of their form, especially as there is now the second part of the season and this is the very important part because you are able to reach your target or not reach you target.’
Tomorrow’s game at Arsenal comes too soon for the two players who were out injured over Christmas, David Luiz and Charly Musonda, but both have continued to improve and are in contention to be available for the weekend FA Cup game at Norwich.
With the transfer window now open, Conte does not anticipate any of his current players departing.
‘I am very happy to work with these players and I trust in these players,’ he told reporters. ‘I don’t see a problem but at the same time I can understand if some players are not playing with regularity and want to play with regularity.
‘My expectation is for all the players that we have in the squad to stay here and to try to continue to work, and also because our squad is not big and it is impossible to send on loan one player or sell one player if we do not take another player.’
On speculative stories in the media over possible players joining Chelsea, Conte dismissed one linking us to Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini and stated:
‘There is lots of speculation and it is normal when the window starts. It is a difficult moment for every coach and for every club because you have to face much speculation and for sure, for some there is truth but others only speculation.
‘For us in this period we must be very focused on our target and tomorrow we have a really tough game against Arsenal. We have to find the right concentration.
‘When you play against Arsenal every game is very important and tomorrow’s game is very important for the league. For sure we want to try our best and get three points and also to give satisfaction to our fans.’