Antonio Conte believes Alvaro Morata will be forced to miss international duties with Spain after the Chelsea striker suffered a "muscular" injury during the Blues' 1-0 defeat to Manchester City on Saturday (30 September).

The Spain international asked Conte to come off in the 35<sup>th minute after appearing to pick up a hamstring injury.

Conte believes that it is not a "serious" issue, but still expects the striker to miss the Spanish 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Albania and Israel on 6 and 9 October.

"It's a muscular problem. I don't think it's serious. He said to me: "Coach I prefer to stop, otherwise I risk having a bad injury," the Chelsea boss said in the press conference following the defeat to City.

"I don't know. The doctor in the next few days will check the situation but I don't think he will be available for the national team."

Morata had started the game alongside Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas as Conte opted to use the same attack that beat Atletico Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

However, asked whether the injury could be linked to the busy fixture list, Conte said: "On this issue I have already spoken and to repeat the same opinion is not good. We don't want to use it as an excuse. To play another massive game two days later you must consider the fatigue in the legs of your players, and it's impossible to press box to box because after 30 minutes you have no energy."

"It's normal when you play three massive games in seven days you must consider this aspect but we needed to take the risk because Morata, for us, is a very important player."

Meanwhile, the boss praised the efforts of his side despite leaving Stamford Bridge disappointed with the defeat.

"For sure there is disappointment about the result but at the same time I'm pleased with the commitment of my players, we gave everything. You can win or lose, but the most important thing is to see your players giving everything and today that happened," the Chelsea boss added.

"We played against a really good team, we created chances to score but we didn't take them. Manchester City created chances and did well to score. In this type of game it's very important to score first but great compliments to City."

Alvaro Morata
Alvaro Morata was forced off during the defeat to Manchester City. Getty