Chelsea boss confirms trio will miss upcoming FA Cup fixture

But with a move for Roma pair Edin Dzeko and Emerson Palmieri no closer to completion and Willian, Alvaro Morata and Thibaut Courtois all injured, he lacks options.

While Morata is suffering from back injury, Courtois is going through ankle injury which they picked up ahead of Chelsea's Carabao Cup defeat at Arsenal and the duo will both be missing again at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon.

"Morata, Courtois are out", Conte began when he was asked about his team readiness for the game Newcastle United during his pre-match conference on Friday. "Morata has this problem in his back, and Courtois took a kick in his ankle".

Cesc Fabregas has returned to training this week and could feature, while recent signing Ross Barkley could be handed another start after making his debut at the Emirates on Wednesday.

"Barkley has a lot of space for improvement, he is working with us only two weeks but for sure today I was forced to make this substitution, but he can improve a lot".

Conte confirmed that Willian will have scans to discover the extent of his hamstring problem.

"For this reason, sometimes I don't sleep, especially when you have to face hard situations, and we have to try to invent something before the game or during the game".

'But I don't think we're talking about a serious injury'.

"I think it is right to have this type of situation", the former Juventus manager added.

"The players are happy [with the packed fixture list] because they want to play, and they want to play every game". "I'm happy to work with my players, to work for this club". Also last season we faced this situation in the same way. Now we have the second game in FA Cup then the league then Champions League.

The Blues boss, whose side crashed out of the Carabao Cup at Arsenal this week, insists he does not fear the bullet himself.

But questioned whether the England global would be fit to start, Conte said: "After a bad injury, you need a bit of time to be 100% fit".

  • Steve Townsend