Antonio Conte ready to bring back Alvaro Morata against Roma

Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte says there is no risk attached in playing striker Alvaro Morata against Roma tonight.

Morata is expected to return from a hamstring injury as Chelsea bid to make it three wins from three games in Champions League Group C.

Conte said: "I could take a risk on Saturday to force (Morata) to play against Crystal Palace, but I'm not so stupid.

"I'm not taking a risk if I decide for Morata to play (against Roma)."

Morata suffered the injury in the 1-0 loss to Manchester City and Michy Batshuayi was ineffective in an all-round poor performance as Chelsea suffered a second successive loss at Palace.

Conte is without key midfielder N'Golo Kante and Victor Moses (both hamstring), plus Danny Drinkwater (calf), against Roma.

But the Italian says it is the fixture schedule which is placing demands on his players and he is having to take risks by not rotating his options due to his "thin" squad.

"The problem is we are playing always the same players," Conte added.

"And also we have players in our team who are not used to playing three games in a week. Kante, it's the first time. For Moses, the first time.

"For Morata, it's the first time to play regularly for his team. For (Marcos) Alonso it's the same.

"When you have a lot of games, you need to rotate players. If this is not possible, I have to take risks.

"For example, against Manchester City: Morata was injured after 20 minutes. But if I hadn't put Morata in the starting XI, you'd have told me I'm crazy. Sometimes the players need to rest."

Alonso says Chelsea cannot afford to lose any more games if they are to retain the Premier League title after falling nine points behind City.

Chelsea responded from a 10th-placed finish in 2015-16 to win the title in Conte's first season as head coach, largely due to a 13-match winning run which followed September losses to Liverpool and Arsenal.

Alonso reckons an even more impressive run is required this season.

"We've lost a lot of points already. We cannot lose any more games," the Spanish defender said.

"It'll obviously be very hard. There are teams playing very good football and there are so many games still to come.

"So we have to think game by game. We will focus now on the Champions League, and an important game, and then have time to get ready for Watford and the Premier League (on Saturday)."

Chelsea have fared better in the Champions League and top Group C after a 6-0 win over Qarabag and a 2-1 win at Atletico Madrid.

Victory against Roma would give confidence of progression to the knockout stages as group winners, ahead of the October 31 return match in Italy.

Alonso added: "Things didn't go very well on Saturday (at Palace).

"The only solution is to work hard and win the next (game, against Roma)."


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