Antonio Conte has just Alvaro Morata’s unavailability to contend with as Chelsea travel to Goodison Park on Saturday to go up against an in-form Everton side.
Chelsea face an in-form Everton side, who, under Sam Allardyce, have looked to be slowly returning to their previous stand of being a contender for the top six. The Blues will have to take the field without Alvaro Morata, who continues to be sidelined, this time serving his suspension after accruing his fifth domestic yellow card for his celebration against Bournemouth.
Antonio Conte does not have any other wiggling issues as far as personnel is concerned. David Luiz is still sidelined, but the manager has ample options to cover for the Brazilian’s absence. Conte highlighted the impact Morata’s suspension is set to have on Chelsea in his pre-match conference while explaining his striker’s cause for such a celebration.
“It is a big loss of us, but it happened and it is okay. At that moment we were enjoying the goal and I did not see the situation but I knew he tried to celebrate the goal with the ball under the shirt. It is a pity but we have to accept the decision and at the same time try in the future to pay great attention [to this].”
Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata will miss Saturday’s trip to Everton.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) December 22, 2017
“It is very important to see what happened because if the ref only booked him because he put the ball under his shirt, it is a pity and you can allow this celebration as you are showing your joy, but if something different happened after this then the ref judged it in a different way.”
Conte used the midweek to provide ample rest to the likes of Thibaut Courtois, Andreas Christensen, N’Golo Kante, Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses – all of whom were missing from the matchday squad against Bournemouth, but are expected to return to the starting lineup for Saturday.
The bone of contention might be whether to hand Michy Batshuayi a start on Saturday, given Morata’s suspension. Conte has so far, introduced Eden Hazard in the False Nine role whenever Morata has been absent. But, against Everton, the presence of an out-and-out striker might compel the Italian to start the striker.