Good evening and welcome to Madrid where Antonio Conte is speaking to the media ahead of Chelsea’s clash with Atletico Madrid.
The Blues are preparing for their vital second group stage clash, knowing a win would be a huge step towards the knockout rounds.
Chelsea won their first group match 6-0 against Qarabag, while Atletico could only draw 0-0 away at Roma, but Conte knows tomorrow’s game in Madrid promises to be a stiff test.
Hosts Atletico have reached the Champions League final twice in the last four seasons, knocking out Chelsea in the semi-final in 2013/14.
Conte faces a boost with Eden Hazard set to start for the Premier League champions after being rested for the weekend’s win at Stoke, while David Luiz will return at the heart of defence, with his suspension only domestic.
Whoever comes out on top at Atletico’s new ‘Wanda Metropolitano’ stadium tomorrow evening will surely be confident of reaching the latter rounds yet again.
It promises to be an interesting press conference. Follow everything Conte has to say below.
Is there a comparison with Atletico and Chelsea?
If you see Atletico you see a team well organised. The football is very important. In La Liga you have Barca and Real Madrid and it is important to be well organised. I see this, which means the coach is a really good coach, the players are totally available to play with or without the ball.
If you can compare them with us, it is very difficult to do this. To do the same way with Atletico to do the same way with them in the Champions League, it is not a bad idea for us
David Luiz and wrist injury, will he play?
David is an important player for us, he is a generous player and is always available. This type of injury won’t stop him tomorrow. He is in contention for the game, no problem
Easier to play Atletico here?
It is never easy to play them, Calderon or here. They are a really good team, we must pay great attention. We have great respect and must play our game.
How could the new stadium affect Atletico?
For us at the time (when at Juve) it was important to go into our time. It was very important because to go into your own stadium is very important and you can create a great synergy. It happened for Juventus and it was great, the first step to build something important. Juventus are one of the best teams in the Champions League.
Pedro with a minor problem
For us it is very important to play game by game, now we play a really tough game. It is an important game for us. You understand which is your moment and for us it is very important to play this type of game. Away in one of the best teams in the CL. It is the best moment to understand where we are.
Everyone is fit, Pedro has a minor problem but not a serious problem.
Last season Eden played a really important season, he played very well and was important to win the league. Last season he showed in every game great talent and to be a really good player, a top player. This competition is very important for him and the team as it brings you on another level. He has all the possibility to do this. He is totally fit and in contention for tomorrow’s game.
Was Morata underrated when he arrived?
I think Alvaro is important to say he is a young player. He is only 24, with the previous experience with Juventus and Real Madrid. For the first time he is having the great chance to start and is responding well to the pressure with the new league, habit, country. To start in this way you must be very strong. He has scored six goals in six games. I am pleased for his performance and that he stays with us.
How important is it for Conte to win the CL?
I don’t like to speak about myself and my team. It is an important competition for all. You have to build and a season by season you have to improve your team and then try to be competitive. Everyone wants to do our best in this competition.
Why have Spanish clubs dominated the Champions League?
In the last few years this competition and Europa League Spanish teams have dominated Europe. It means they are very strong, they have a lot of experience in these competitions. This is the truth and I think we have to change the history, it has been like this for the last few years.
Diego Costa, why did it come to this?
As I have said, I have no problem with Diego Costa and we wish for him the best for the future. We want to thank him for last season. I have no problem with him.
After the first week, is the draw a good result?
I think every game in Europe you have to try to play with a will to win. I watched Atletico v Rome, they played well and maybe deserved to win. We played against Qarabag and played a good game. We have to try to play our football but have a great respect for Madrid, they have shown in the last few years they are a really strong team. We have to do our best. This season we have great enthusiasm and desire to show we can play in this competition
What role do Koke and Saul play
We are talking about two great players. Saul is a young player but now he has the right prospect to be a top player. Koke has a lot of experience, which is important for this team. I know Saul very well and he is a very important player for Atletico. I like him and is a really good midfielder.
No English team have won in Atletico, do Chelsea have a chance?
I think Atletico is a really good team with a great experience in this competition. They always play a great competition and to reach the finals of the Champions League is not simple, it means you are strong and able to have a good tournament. They have a good team, coach. Chelsea last year didn’t play this competition, we are excited to play and tomorrow we know we have to face a really good team