Tags Posts tagged with "Antonio Conte"

Antonio Conte

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Team News

SOUTHAMPTON

Mark Hughes‘ side is currently struggling with some injuries concerns as three players remain out, with Jack Stephens banned following his late red card in their last defeat against Arsenal. However, the manager revealed, speaking at a press conference ahead of the clash, that Steven Davis is the only injury concern ahead of the game.

Here are team news regarging the Saints:

  • Sam Mcqueen (groin), Steven Davis (knock) are expected to be out of the clash;
  • Shane Long, who’s recovering from an ankle injury, could be missing;
  • Mario Lemina is set for a comeback;
  • Jack Stephens is banned.

CHELSEA 

  • David Luiz remains out with an ankle injury;
  • Davide Zappacosta and Ross Barkley are recovering and could be in contention for a place during the game;
  • Antonio Conte confirmed Danny Drinkwater ‘is struggling with a problem in the groin’ and is not expected to be selected for the game.

Predicted Line-Ups

SOUTHAMPTON McCarthy, Bertrand, Yoshida, Hoedt, Soares, Romeu, Hojbjerg, Bertrand, Ward-Prowse, Tadic, Austin

CHELSEA – Courtois; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger; Moses, Fabregas, Kante, Alonso; Willian, Morata, Giroud

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Antonio Conte has confirmed he trusts Chelsea midfielder Danny Drinkwater, who struggled to find regular game time following a couple of injuries to keep him out of the squad since he joined the Blues in January transfer window.

The England international is currently coping with a calf problem and will be not available for today’s trip to Southampton, as the Italian boss confirmed: “Danny is having an unlucky season,” Conte assessed, speaking at a press conference yesterday.

“He started this season with a problem in his calf, then he continued to have problems. Now he is struggling with a problem in the groin. We are talking about a good midfielder, a good player. I trust him”.

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has confirmed he will ‘make rotations and give everyone the possibility to play’ also in defense against Southampton tomorrow afternoon (Kick-Off 12.30PM BST).

The Italian coach said: “We are talking about a young player. For him it is the first season playing at this level. Playing at this level means you lose a lot of mental energy. It could be that he is a bit tired in this respect”.

“At the same time, to have the possibility to play Gary Cahill is right. We are talking about an important player not only for Chelsea, but also for the national team. I have this opportunity to make rotations, especially in the defensive line. When I see some situations, I try to change something”.

“For sure [Andreas] Christensen can contribute in the last few weeks of the season. I have four central defenders at the moment. From now until the end I will make rotations and give everyone the possibility to play”.

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Earlier today, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte spoke during his press conference ahead of tomorrow’s Premier League game vs Southampton.

The Blues coach revealed his goals for the last part of the season and said he is not worried about the speculations on the name of next season’s manager: “My job is to work with these players and finish the season as strongly as possible. Conte said. “There is always speculation around our position, not only for me but for a lot of coaches. It’s our job. For me, the most important thing is to be focused on Chelsea and finish in the best possible way. We want to improve our position. It’s difficult and we know that, but at the same time we have to give everything to get points and then to see what happens at the end of the season. It will be very difficult to reduce this gap, but we must try to do this until the end of the season.”

During his press conference Conte also spoke about Drinkwater and Christensen: “Danny is having an unlucky season,” Conte said. “He started this season with a problem in his calf, then he continued to have problems. Now he is struggling with a problem in the groin. We are talking about a good midfielder, a good player. I trust him.”

“We are talking about a young player.” – then the Blues manager went on about Christensen. “For him it is the first season playing at this level. Playing at this level means you lose a lot of mental energy. It could be that he is a bit tired in this respect. At the same time, to have the possibility to play Gary Cahill is right. We are talking about an important player not only for Chelsea, but also for the national team. I have this opportunity to make rotations, especially in the defensive line. When I see some situations, I try to change something. For sure Christensen can contribute in the last few weeks of the season. I have four central defenders at the moment. From now until the end I will make rotations and give everyone the possibility to play.”

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Chelsea legend Marcel Desailly believes the London club can think about selling Eden Hazard in the next summer transfer window and use the money to buy at least three players useful for the team.

[Roman] Abramovich is passionate and he will be disappointed [at missing out on Champions League] but they will still be able to get some good players. If tomorrow you sell Hazard, you can sign another three players who can step up.” Desailly told the Daily Mail. “And Willian, for example, is brilliant but he’s just one of those players. He can lift his level and bring a new dimension and become another first-class player.”

On the other hand, the former Chelsea defender claimed Antonio Conte must stay at Stamford Bridge: “What was working last season with Conte cannot suddenly not work this season. Before they’ve changed the coach, and kept the players. This time they should keep the coach and look to move four to five players on”.

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Andreas Christensen struggled with good performances in recent times following a positive start to the season with Chelsea, under Antonio Conte’s management.

The Denmark international, speaking to Chelsea’s official website, also praised the Italian boss, who’ been svital in helping him through this difficult time: “It helps when you’ve got good team-mates who take care of you and a manager who believes in you” Christensen said.

“That’s only made things more comfortable for me, and now I want to progress even more.”

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Andreas Christensen admitted he is ‘happy with the overall season’ at Chelsea despite his defensive mistake in Champions League clash against Barcelona.

“It’s easy to just look at the recent games – Christensen told Chelsea’s official website – But I try to remember I played probably 25-30 games with no mistakes at all before that. Everyone knows you can’t go through a whole season not making a mistake, as a defender – it’s impossible”. 

“That’s the bad part about our job – when there’s a goal, there’s a good chance you’re the one getting pointed at, but you still have to take responsibility next time you get the ball and do what’s best for the team”.

The Denmark international also praised manager Antonio Conte, who’s been vital in helping him through this difficult time: “It helps when you’ve got good team-mates who take care of you and a manager who believes in you. That’s only made things more comfortable for me, and now I want to progress even more.”

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Antonio Rudiger was clear and determined when asked to provide a comment on the latest Premier League clash against West Ham United at Stamford Bridge. The German international told Chelsea’s official website: “I think we begged for the goal, and in the second half, or even in the first half, we could have finished the game, but like the last few months we couldn’t, and we conceded at the end. It’s not easy to explain. I don’t understand after we go 1-0 up why we always drop off and let our opponents come and get stronger and have more ball possession”.

“We could have done better, of course. Like in the last few weeks we gave them a gift. It was the first clear chance they had and they scored. It’s been a long time since we kept a clean sheet. It’s our own fault. There’s nobody to blame but ourselves”.

Chelsea face Southampton on Sunday and then in the FA Cup semi-final later this month, on 22th of April. Rudiger underlined the importance of winning all the remaining games, because “if Chelsea don’t win games they cannot get in the top four”: “The thing is we have to start playing good football and winning games – Rudiger said – We have to try and turn this around and finish the season on a high. There’s no other way. We have to go to Southampton and do our thing, analyse this West Ham game very well, and keep going”.

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Speaking after the draw with West Ham Antonio Conte admitted his team have to work hard to solve this season issues that brought them to the current 5th place in the table, 10 points below the fourth spot and the Champions League qualification:

“How do I see this result? It is very difficult to explain it at all.

We dominated the game and created many, many chances to score but we didn’t and that explains our season.

“We have had good performances all season but you have to score.

“This is not the first time and we have to improve a lot. When you stay in this position in the table it means that you have a problem.

“At the end we are talking about a draw and not a win and it means that it is incredible.

“We must be frustrated, this is not the first time. We are in this position because we have wasted good chances to get three points.

“This is the truth. We have to improve, we must win this game. Instead we are talking about a draw.

“You need the desire to score a second goal, a third, a fourth.

“Top four? Top four? [laughs] I don’t know, I don’t know. We will try to do our best. We change, I don’t know what.”

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Chelsea slip 10 points down from Champions League spot after drawing 1-1 with West Ham at home.

The Blues took the lead at 36′ with Azpilicueta and seemed in control of the game but weren’t able to add more goals to the score.

Eventually, Chicharito Hernandez equalised at 73′, giving the Hammers also the chance to get the three points some minutes later.

With this disappointing result the qualification to the next Champions League and the confirmation of Blues boss Antonio Conte are further from Stamford Bridge.

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