Chelsea will be without Willian, Alvaro Morata and Thibaut Courtois for Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup clash against Newcastle United, their manager Antonio Conte has revealed.
The Blues who crashed out of the Carabao Cup last Wednesday after losing 2-1 on aggregate to Arsenal could welcome Cesc Fabregas back to the squad as they look to return to winning ways at Stamford Bridge.
“Morata, Courtois are out,” Conte began when he was asked about his team readiness for the game Newcastle United during his pre-match conference on Friday.
“I don’t know, it is very difficult to tell you today how many days they need to come back. Morata has a problem in his back and Courtois took a kick in his ankle.
“Fabregas trained today and tomorrow I will check his physical condition and form.
“It’s only a small injury but Willian is out of the Newcastle game as well.
“Willian is out. Today with the doctor, he will have a scan to evaluate his injury but I don’t think we’re talking about a serious injury.”
Conte reaffirmed that he is happy at the club and with his squad despite claiming transfer business is out of his hands.
“I think it is right to have this type of situation,” the former Juventus manager added.
“I am repeating the same things, I am the coach and my task is to do the best for the club and try to improve these players.
“This is something I don’t want to discuss with you. Nothing has changed (on his future).There was the summer, then after the summer and nothing has changed. I am happy to work with my players and for this club.”
The Italian manager also stated that Emirates FA Cup remains an important trophy for Chelsea to win this season after crashing out of the Carabao Cup to Arsenal.
He said: “Every competition is important, we lost against Arsenal and now there is another competition.
“As you know this competition is very difficult. There is also an opponent and the opponent has the same ambition.”
On the future of Charly Musonda and if Ross Barkley will make his first start against Newcastle United, Conte said: “As I said before, to buy or sell the club decide. He (Musonda) can be selected on Sunday.
“As you know, after a bad injury you need a bit of time to be fit 100%.
“If you want to accelerate this process, he (Barkley) has to play, not only have the training session.
“The players are happy because they want to play and play every game. In this type of situation the coach loves to play and not have the training session.”
“I am not worried. Last season we had to deal with this situation in the same way.”