Antonio Conte says he might have to make changes for Chelsea’s Premier League game against title rivals Manchester City in order to avoid his players being fatigued.
Chelsea’s dramatic Champions League victory away to Atletico Madrid came 24 hours after City played at home to Shakhtar Donetsk.
Conte’s squad arrived back in London in the early hours of Thursday and effectively have only Friday to prepare for the City game.
The Blues boss is unhappy that Saturday’s vital match has not been put back to Sunday.
And Conte plans to assess his players to see if he needs to make changes for the game at Stamford Bridge.
“I want to check and then on Friday before the game,” he explained.
“You lose a lot of energy, physically and mentally. I want to speak with everyone and then to make the best decision.
“To have only one day is not right. I am surprised that we play the big game on Saturday and not Sunday. But we want to be ready and we want to face this game.
“Now for us it is important to rest and recover very well. We don’t have a lot of time.”
David Luiz, who featured in the Atletico game, is serving a domestic suspension so is unavailable against City, while Danny Drinkwater remains sidelined with a calf problem.
“Morata aged Diego Godin a few years today” – former Ferguson favourite praises striker
Chelsea beat Atletico Madrid in Spain last night, in a superb performance lead by their number 9 up top.
The praise from pundits all over from the world has been flowing in for Chelsea, who were brilliant on the night. The Blues were dominant from the start and could have taken the lead from a succession of early chances, but found themselves behind to a penalty scored by Antoine Griezmann.
Alvaro Morata was the man who got the Blues back into the game, with a clever flicked header from Eden Hazard’s cross.
Morata’s work rate was just sensational, and from the first minute he was cantering forward to close down Ateti defenders. Fomer Man United defender Rio Ferdinand couldn’t say enough about the Spaniard and the way he bullied some of Europe’s top defenders:
It wasn’t just hard work, there was skill too, and the way Morata held the ball up to allow
“I’ve not seen Godin get bullied and manhandled like that today. Godin has been one of the best defenders in the Champions League for the last few years. And today… he looked like he’d aged a few years!” – Rio Ferdinand, BT Sport
This comes not long after many criticised Morata’s physicality in the Premier League game against Stoke. Those criticisms ring very hollow now.