Chelsea team news ahead of home Champions league group stage return clash against Azerbaijan Qarabag
Chelsea will on Tuesday night receive Azerbaijan champions Qarabag in the Europe topflight to mark a return into Europe competition. Antonio Conte’s side missed out of the previous campaign having finished 10th in the previous league log.
Chelsea have been involved in the champions league group stage since 2013/04, having missed out for the first time in 20 years.
Team news: Antonio Conte is expected to rotate his squad away from the group that travelled to Kings Power stadium on Sunday.
Eden Hazard who came in as a substitute against Foxes is expected to be a starter, while summer Deadline day signing Danny Drinkwater remains a doubt following an injury he picked on Sunday training.
Chelsea captain Gary Cahill will look forward to his first Europe game as Chelsea captain having seen out a three match suspension in the domestic campaign.
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte Sparks on his possible squad rotation ahead of an eventful season;
“You are never relaxed in England because you have to play a tough league and also FA Cup and also Carabao Cup,” the manager said.
“Now we are starting to play the Champions League. To play 60, 65 games it’s normal but it’s not easy.
“In my past sometimes before a Champions League game you rested. In England it’s not easy to do this. When you make the decision [on selection] there is always the risk. The risk could be to play with the same players as against Leicester and then after the game: ‘Why didn’t you change the team
“You know if you win you’ve made the best decision, if you lose you’ve made the worst decision. I must be realistic, I must be calm, to make the best decision for these seven games. It’s normal when you have to play seven games in 21 days to rotate my players. I’m very calm because I trust my players.”
Antonio Conte has Champions League pedigree as a player, reaching four finals, winning one. As a manager he took Juventus to the -quarter-finals and wants to make his mark with Chelsea but believes it will take time.
“In the Champions League we are starting a path and it will be very important to start building something important,” he said. “To win a competition you need to work very hard, to improve over years and to grow step by step and to arrive to be like Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Juventus are the same now. You don’t create a big strong team easily.”
Chelsea will take Arsenal at the weekend in English topflight campaign.
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