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Conte Hints At Hazard Start

Conte Hints At Hazard Start

The pre-match press conference has taken place in Madrid ahead of Wednesday nights Champions League group game between Atletico Madrid and Chelsea.

Antonio Conte spoke shortly after arriving in Madrid. Chelsea have a good record in Spain in recent seasons. With the recent influx of Spanish players into the Chelsea squad, the team should be well placed to compete. Conte spoke about the opposition,

`Atletico Madrid is a really good team with great experience in this competition. In the last few years they have always played a great Champions League, and to reach the final twice is not simple, it is not for all the teams. It means you are strong team with a good coach and good organisation and for sure, we must pay good attention. Chelsea last season did not play in this competition so we are excited to play it, but for sure tomorrow we know very well we have to face a really good team.`

Last time Chelsea played Atletico was back in 2014, it was the semi-final of the competition Chelsea won in 2012. Centre forward for Madrid was Diego Costa, and for Chelsea Fernando Torres. The game ended 0-0. Conte is looking for a victory this time round,

`'We have to play every game with the will to try to win. I watched Atletico`s game versus Roma and they played very well and maybe deserved to win the game. We were playing against Qarabag and played a really good game, and tomorrow is an important game for both teams. We have to try to play our football but show great respect for Atletico. But this season for sure we have great enthusiasm and desire to show we deserve to play in this competition.`

Conte swapped his team around in the game against Qarabag, the matchday one game saw Chelsea run out 6-0 winners. He`s likely to revert back to a stronger starting XI against Diego Simeone`s Madrid. Conte discussed squad injury issues, starting with Eden Hazard

`Last season Eden played very well and a really important season for us to win the league. He showed in every game a great talent to be a really good player. The Champions League is very important for him but also for the team. This competition brings you to another level and he has all the possibility to do that. He is a top player, he is fit and he is in contention to start the game. It is the right moment.`

Hazard has yet to start for Chelsea this season as Conte has taken a softly, softly approach to his return from the broken ankle he suffered with the Belgian national squad. Is Conte indicating Hazard will start, or is it kidology? The only other issues are Danny Drinkwater who is still not fit, having suffered a calf injury in training following the Qarabag game. He`s unlikely to feature until after the next international break in October. Conte reported that Pedro has a minor knock and when questioned about David Luiz who broke his wrist in the Arsenal game, rounded up the presser with this,

`David is an important player for us and this type of injury won`t stop him tomorrow. He is in contention for the game.`

The game kicks-off tomorrow at 19:45 UK time

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Tuesday September 26 2017
Time: 10:19PM

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