Stamford Bridge is set to play host to a David and Goliath clash between Premier League leaders Chelsea and League One side Peterborough United in the FA Cup.
Chelsea have no new injuries within their squad and it was confirmed by Antonio Conte in his pre-match press conference, that Captain John Terry and Kurt Zouma were ready to start today’s match against Peterborough and Michy Batshuayi may get his chance as well.
As per Chelsea’s official site, Conte insisted that this was a great opportunity to field players who have not been featuring regularly for the Blues this term and that he has tried to find the right combination, as he wants the team to go further in this competition.
Kurt Zouma is set to start today, 11 months after he suffered a horrific injury. “Zouma will start, he is ready to start. He deserves to start. It’s a good opportunity to show me he is in good form and to give me another opportunity when I go to choose the starting XI,” Conte said.
The Frenchman’s knee injury put him out of contention for his country’s European Championship campaign as well, and he has only featured for the reserves this season. Conte insisted that the extent of his injury was very bad and he needed a lot of time to recover.
However, Conte assured that the 22-year-old was now in good shape. “His injury was very bad. I knew this. I talked with my club about this injury, and for this reason we knew Kurt needed more time to recover. Now he is in good shape and he is ready to play and to restart his career.”
Fellow center-back John Terry has also been sidelined due to two major injuries this term. First an ankle injury against Swansea, after which he recovered and made one appearance, before he picked up a Gluteus injury which has kept him out since November.
Now Chelsea’s captain is finally set to return and about his recovery, Conte said, “John Terry is in a good shape and is ready to start to play. He is doing great work on the pitch and outside of the pitch and it is important to underline this.”
Antonio Conte also went on to speak about summer acquisition Michy Batshuayi. The Italian shed some light on the Belgian’s current situation at the club and he insisted that the 23-year-old was finding it hard to adapt to the English game’s physical nature.
Conte believes that the former Marseille hitman could be frustrated due to the lack of game time, as he was used to playing every game for the French side prior to his move to Chelsea, but he was having to fight for his place in a great team.
The Italian went on to praise his work in training, and insisted that the Belgian was working very hard and slowly warming up to their idea of football and that this tie would be a good opportunity for him to show that he deserved to play more in the future.
“I have a good opportunity in this game to see Michy from the start, and this is important,” he said. “Diego is doing very well, he is playing a lot, and I didn’t take a final decision because there is also tomorrow’s training, but for Michy it could be a good opportunity to show me his promise.”