Conte insists Blues are due a change of luck ahead of FA Cup replay against Norwich
Antonio Conte says Chelsea are due a change of luck – and issued an ominous warning ahead of tonight’s FA Cup third-round replay against the Canaries.
The Blues boss is eager to get Chelsea back to winning ways after a run of four league and cup draws in a row.
The last three have been goalless, but Conte reckons Chelsea’s luck will soon change.
He added: “We have to continue to work and maybe, then the game will arrive that you score a lot of goals. You shoot and you score, you shoot and you score.”
Conte plans to rotate his options, but Ross Barkley is ineligible and Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas (both hamstrings) are out.
The Blues boss had pencilled Barkley into his squad, but the midfielder was not signed from Everton by the required registration deadline to play in the original tie at Carrow Road on January 6, so is unavailable.
Conte now hopes to arrange a practice match for Barkley, before bringing him into the first-team squad.
“Probably we are preparing a friendly game for him this week and then we’ll see his physical condition,” Conte added.
Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi – linked with a loan move to Sevilla – will start as will David Luiz in the centre of a back three, which also includes 17-year-old Ethan Ampadu.
Conte added: “He deserves to play. This is unusual for a player who is only 17 years old.”
Eden Hazard has been substituted 10 times in the Premier League this season, more than any other Chelsea player. Conte explained this was, in part, due to the Belgium playmaker’s ankle operation which meant he did not complete pre-season.
When asked if Hazard accepted the situation, Conte said: “My first target is to do the best for the player and for the team, not to make every single player happy. Otherwise we risk to finish 20th in the table.”
Conte said he was reluctant to consider the possibility of Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez joining Chelsea.
“I don’t know, but I don’t think so,” he said. “I like to talk about situations that could be real. This is not important to talk about Sanchez. Because he’s not our good problem, so why do I have to waste words for nothing?”