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Conte ready to rotate as Chelsea await Qarabag

Monday, September 11, 2017 - 02:10

Chelsea will rotate their squad for the Champions League group stage match at home to Azerbaijan club, Qarabag.

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EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS A WHITE FLASH TO SEPARATE SOUNDBITES SHOWS: STOKE D'ABERNON, NEAR LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (SEPTEMBER 11, 2017) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHELSEA MANAGER, ANTONIO CONTE, TALKING ABOUT EDEN HAZARD, SAYING: "Eden Hazard is in the group, he's in the squad and he's working very well to find the best physical condition. But I think he needs a bit of time to continue to improve and to avoid to take a stupid risk we him. But now he's available and then he would come on the bench." 2. WHITE FLASH 3. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHELSEA MANAGER, ANTONIO CONTE, SAYING: "I think that Qarabag is a good team and for them it is the first time to play this competition. I know a lot of these players very well because I played against Azerbaijan when I was the Italian coach and then we played in our qualification against them and there are a lot of players who play with the national team. We must play great attention; these type of games... I like to call these games tricky games and that we must play great attention but for sure we played two days ago and then we are to play tomorrow and then we are to play another game against Arsenal. And then Carabao Cup and then again two games in the league against Stoke and Manchester City and then Atletico Madrid. I think it's normal and there is the necessity to do rotation; otherwise you arrive to play the last two games that you have your team without energy." STORY: Antonio Conte says he is ready to rotate his squad as Chelsea return to the Champions League after a one-year absence with a home clash against Group C outsiders Qarabag on Tuesday (September 12). The Azerbaijan side visit Stamford Bridge three days after Chelsea's hard-fought 2-1 victory at Leicester City in the Premier League and ahead of the champions' home game against London rivals Arsenal this weekend. It is a dilemma Conte was spared last season when he masterminded Chelsea's Premier League title triumph in his first season coaching in England - a legacy of a 10th placed finish the year before which captain Gary Cahill calls "a freak". Qarabag are likely to be the whipping boys of a group containing Roma and Atletico Madrid, but Conte must balance a desire to rest players with the knowledge that any slip-up could seriously dent their chances of reaching the last 16. Conte said influential forward Eden Hazard, fit again after recovering from a broken ankle, will only be on the bench while new signing Danny Drinkwater is doubtful with a calf injury.

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Conte ready to rotate as Chelsea await Qarabag

Monday, September 11, 2017 - 02:10