Live Updates
  • David Luiz and Tiemoue Bakayoko remain unavailable but Ross Barkley has recovered from a hamstring injury and could be in the squad against Manchester City on Sunday.
  • Ethan Ampadu has however joined the injury list.
  • Antonio Conte not willing to discuss latest links with the vacant Italy job with his focus solely on the trip to the Etihad Stadium.
  • Chelsea boss says Alvaro Morata must continue to work to try and rediscover his form.
Antonio Conte

And that is it from Antonio. As expected, he's had nothing to say on the latest links with the Italy job with his focus fully on Sunday's trip to Manchester City.

Ross Barkley will make that journey having recovered from a hamstring injury, but the Chelsea boss has not decided whether he will be named on the bench yet.

Ethan Ampadu meanwhile has picked up a knock which means he will not make the trip, with Tiemoue Bakayoko and David Luiz still unavailable.

Is Alvaro Morata's form a concern?

"He has to work and recover best form. We must have patience, but the only way is to work."

Will he change his style to stop City?

"Most important thing is to have a tactical plan, offensively and defensively. You must focus on your own team. It is important not to lose the balance, in my mind, if you want to win you have to have great balance."

Any weaknesses in City?

"If is difficult, we have to try and find if there are weaknesses in this team and to try and work around these weaknesses. It is not simple, but we have to try and find the best way to face this game against them."

Links with Italy?

"Nothing has changed since my last answer."

Taking a page out of Liverpool's book to beat City?

"When you play against this team who is very strong, you must have a plan in your mind to stop them with a tactical plan. Otherwise you risk losing in a bad way."

Are Chelsea showing enough ambition?

"It is up to the club to show ambition. I am the coach, I work every day."

Will City be complacent?

"I don't know but in this moment, to see an advantage against City is very difficult. But at the same time we have to prepare in the right way and have all the players in good form and to try and fight for a good result. In this moment, they same unstoppable."

Ross Barkley latest?

"In this week he trained with us, now he has recovered from his injury, he will come with us for City. I don;t know if he will have a place on the bench or in the stand for another week."

"For us in this moment, we have to try to get a place in the Champions League, it won't be easy. There are many strong teams, we must be ready to fight and try to take a place for next season."

Is this a concern for Chelsea?

"I think every team must have their own target before the season and try reach this. It is different for every team."

Will City be better next season?

For sure, they have the chance to spend money and improve the quality of the squad. I always say in this league, they have to pay great attention."

Do you admire City or fear them?

"I think we must have a great admiration for them, because they are having a fantastic path in this season. Sometimes it is difficult to find a weakness in this team, but I think that when you work very well and there is a great feeling between manager and club you can work in the way you want.

City also has the situation to spend a lot of money and when you link these two situations this is the final result."

What's different about City?

"The manager try to improve the quality of the starting XI and this is the result."

Has the weather affected training?

"Training is not simple, but despite this we try to work and prepare for City as we did last week."

Squad update?

"The injuries are the same, Bakayoko and Luiz are out and Ampadu."

And here he is!

We are expecting Antonio any minute now....

Chelsea may have got a slight injury boost last night with Manchester City full-back Kyle Walker forced off with a knock. Pep Guardiola is already without Benjamin Mendy and the suspended Fabian Delph over on the left, so the City boss might need to oversee a bit of a reshuffle before Sunday.

Latest reports this week suggest contract talks between Chelsea and Thibaut Courtois – whose current deal expires in 2019 – have been shelved until the end of the current season. That comes amid a separate claim from ESPN suggesting Paris Saint-Germain have made the goalkeeper aware of their interest with the Belgium international said to be open to their advances.

Conte can perhaps shed some light on his side's latest efforts to tie the player down to a new deal.

Thibaut Courtois
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Conte's own future at Stamford Bridge could perhaps be the biggest issue of the day.

His old Azzurri teammate Alessandro Costacurta, now deputy commissioner of the Italian Football Federation, made it clear this week the Chelsea boss is his preferred choice to come in and fill the void left by Giampiero Ventura, sacked last November after failing to qualify for the World Cup.

"I haven't chosen yet but I think Conte is the one who could do the best. I'll definitely talk with him in a couple of months."

Being the consummate professional he is, we don't expect Conte to gleefully discuss his next job this afternoon, but it is clear a plan is in place.

Antonio Conte
Getty Images

There have been a few injuries knocking about the Chelsea squad in recent weeks, although you could argue none have directly affected the manager's first-team plans.
Tiemoue Bakayoko has been unavailable for his side's last five games - one of those owing to a suspension after being sent off during that harrowing defeat to Watford – but did return to training this week.

David Luiz has also been unavailable for the last five games through injury, while we haven't seen Ross Barkley since the 3-0 defeat to Bournemouth due to his hamstring problem. Will any of the three be ready for Sunday? We will soon find out.

Tiemoue Bakayoko
Getty Images

What's on the agenda this afternoon?

  • Injury update on Tiemoue Bakayoko, Ross Barkley and David Luiz
  • Will Alvaro Morata retain his spot up front ahead of Olivier Giroud?
  • His response to latest comments from Italian FA chief Alessandro Costacurta suggesting Conte is the "best option" for the Italy job?
  • The latest on Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard's contract sagas

Antonio Conte sits down to address the assembled press once again this afternoon with his side facing the risk of being five points adrift of the Premier League top four by the end of the weekend.

A narrow victory for Tottenham Hotspur coupled with Chelsea's defeat to Manchester United last Sunday leaves the defending champions in fifth place, two points adrift of Mauricio Pochettino's side. A trip to champions-elect Manchester City is not an ideal remedy to that problem.

City were sublime as they swotted away Arsenal on Thursday, but that mid-week excursion to the capital could work in Chelsea's favour, who have had the week to recover from that defeat at Old Trafford.

Conte is expected to provide an update on the fitness of his squad this afternoon while we might also get some news on his own future at the club following comments this week suggesting he is now Italy's first-choice to come and lead the Azzurri again.