Antonio Conte on Why He Made Five Chelsea Starting XI Changes

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One of the primary concerns surrounding Chelsea right now is the size of their squad. With the UEFA Champions League workload this season, on top of Premier League play and two domestic cup competitions, there’s a ton of minutes to be played, and they need depth to handle it.

Chelsea critics point out the small size of the roster, saying that the west London side needs to add some more warm bodies to handle all of the workload ahead. Last season, the Blues could go with a smaller squad because they didn’t have European duties to contend with.

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Chelsea opened their European campaign last night, and they did so with a bang, trouncing Qarabag 6-0. It was an effort that the manager labeled as perfection. They accomplished this as Antonio Conte made five changes to the starting XI. The lineup switches included the addition of summer transfer window deadline day signing Davide Zappacosta; who was among the goal scorers for Chelsea.

Conte discussed the chances that he gave to some of the new players.

“I wanted to give a good chance to Michy, and also to (Andreas) Christensen. To play in the Champions League means the coach trusts you. My message tonight was this: I trust all my players, not only with words but with facts,” Antonio Conte told ChelseaFC.com

“For the first game in the Champions League I decided to start with rotation. Also because we have to start the process to improve our players. If we think we can play with 13 players like last season, we are crazy.”

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“Instead, we have to improve our players and try to create a good competition between them. A positive competition is very important.”

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now and Minute Media. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and Chicago Now.

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