Chelsea's Alvaro Morata celebrates after scoring a goal in the English Premier League match against Everton.
Chelsea's Alvaro Morata celebrates after scoring a goal in the English Premier League match against Everton. WILL OLIVER

Blues boss to rotate squad for Champions League opener

CHELSEA manager Antonio Conte is prepared to leave out some star names for Wednesday morning's (AEST) visit of Group C outsiders Qarabag in the Champions League.

Conte said playing seven games in 21 days had taken its toll on players and he was prepared to rotate his squad in the first game of the group stages against the Azerbaijani outfit.

"We played a tough game (at Leicester) and spent a lot of energy. To play seven games in 21 days is not easy," he said.

"It's normal to prepare some rotations.

"There is the necessity to rotate and play game by game."

Striker Alvaro Morata, signed from Real Madrid in the summer, may be benched, along with Eden Hazard, who is returning from an ankle injury, Conte said.

"Don't forget Morata played a whole game with Spain and then the whole game against Leicester. I have to check many situations and make the best decisions for tomorrow," he said.

"I'm very calm about this, I trust my players."

Conte will not be taking Qarabag lightly.

"For me Qarabag are a good team," he said.

"I know a lot of these players very well, because I played against Azerbaijan when I was Italian coach."

News Corp Australia


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