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Conte proud of Chelsea's injury record, hints at upcoming squad rotation

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Despite the prognostications of certain Twitter experts regarding Antonio Conte's training methods, Chelsea have so far managed to avoid any large scale injury crises or the like.

In fact, when combined with the consistent performances from the players, Conte had been able to field the same exact starting eleven for six straight games earlier and has had to make only eight changes all season, the lowest in the league.  That latter statistic is reminiscent of the last two Champions of England, both of whom had very recognizable starting elevens who were hardly ever rotated.

That said, with the busy holiday period coming up, Conte knows that some rotation will be necessary.

"Yes, we'll have more games. [Next week] we'll have three games in seven days. For this reason, it's important to have all the squad, all the players in good form. I think I could take the decision to have a rotation, but I think the most important thing now is to think game by game."

"Now there is West Brom. It's important to be fully concentrated on West Brom. Then, after the game, it's important to understand that, if we have new injuries or I see some players tired... to say now if I'll need to rotate is very difficult."

-Antonio Conte; source: Evening Standard

When Conte talks about seeing if players are tired, he quite literally means seeing them.  As he reveals, he trusts his own instincts and judgment over anything else.

"It is normal if you have a soft training session every day that you never have problems with the players. It is the more simple way to be a manager, When you work very hard it is not easy sometimes but with the results, with good condition and good form then the players understand the right way to follow. The most important thing is to arrive prepared for the game in the right way, then if you can find the right solution for the players to work and also to enjoy the training, this is the best."

"My philosophy with my staff is we continue to work with my method we used with the Italy national team and with Juventus, and with Siena, Bari, Atlanta - all my experience. The analysis statistics are important to check what happened during the training session and during the game, but the most important thing for me is my eyes. It is important to look and understand if someone is more tired than another, or if someone is a bit lazy or not and you can push him. The eye in my job is very important."

Nemanja Matić's muscle strain last weekend was a rare impactful injury of note, but the squad coped beautifully.  Heading into Sunday's game, the only concern is over David Luiz, though his "traumatic" injury came as a direct result of dangerous play by Sergio Aguero rather than overexertion.

"I am very pleased to have few injuries for so long because for a season it is important if you are able to avoid muscular problems. The traumatic problems are very difficult to avoid, but to avoid the muscular problems it is very important to have a method, a philosophy during training sessions and to work with the players, together with the medical staff, to try to find the best solution to have few injuries."

"The number of injuries is always important at the end of the season, and usually when you have many injuries you can lose key players and this is not good for the team."

-Antonio Conte; source: Chelsea FC

So far so good then.