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Bakayoko, Barkley, David Luiz unavailable for Chelsea’s FA Cup clash with Hull City

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Chelsea vs. Hull City, FA Cup: Injury news

FBL-ENG-PR-CHELSEA-PRESSER-CONTE Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images

With Hull City facing an injury crisis with at least seven players out — plus three more ineligible due to being Chelsea loanees — and both teams gearing up for massive games the following Tuesday, Friday night’s FA Cup fifth round clash should be a great opportunity for some squad rotation.

But while Antonio Conte is ready to hand out a few chances to backups and the youth, it will be within reason. As perhaps the team’s best chance at a trophy this season, a deep FA Cup run remains a priority.

“Yeah, for sure we have in front of us two very tough weeks and for this reason I think it’s right to have a programme, a plan to face these two tough weeks in the right way [via rotation]. But at the same time as you know very well we want to try to go through to the next round in the FA Cup competition.”

“But I think when you start a season, every competition is a priority and we tried to do the same in the Carabao Cup. We reached the Semi-Final and we want to try to fight for every competition. But there is not one priority; there are three priorities in the rest of this season.”

Unfortunately for Conte, some backups will not be fit for tomorrow. Tiemoué Bakayoko, Ross Barkley, as well as David Luiz are out of contention, while the readiness of a couple other players (Alonso — ankle? Giroud — knocks from previous match?) will be checked as well.

“[Tiemoué] Bakayoko is out, [David] Luiz is out and [Ross] Barkley is out and then I have a couple of situations to check before tomorrow’s game.”

One player who’s ostensibly not a backup but is recently returned from injury and thus in need of game time before the tough stretch of games is striker Álvaro Morata. Whether from the start or as an extended substitute appearance, Morata will be taking part tomorrow to get him ready for Barcelona.

“I think that Álvaro now is in the training with us regularly every day and I think his physical condition is improving. I think tomorrow he will play part of the game and he will be ready to start against Barcelona in the Champions League.”

But if things turn out as planned, we could very well see another “Academy Day”, with the usual trio of Ampadu, Hudson-Odoi, and Sterling joined by midfielder Kyle Scott and defender Trevoh Chalobah in the squad for this game. Conte has more or less confirmed a start for Ampadu already, with perhaps Hudson-Odoi getting a shot as well. Of the quintet of youngsters, only Dujon Sterling played in Tuesday’s FA Youth Cup win over Spurs.

“[...] In the past, in Carabao Cup, in FA Cup I gave them the chance to play. We are talking about two of the best players of our academy [in Ethan Ampadu and Callum Hudson-Odoi].”

“In this case we’re talking about Ampadu, for me it’s not difficult to predict a brilliant future for this player. It’s the same for Odoi but we have Sterling and there’s Chalobah’s brother [Trevor] and Scott and they are coming with us for the game tomorrow. And I think that Chelsea’s future is very brilliant to have these young players.”

-Antonio Conte; Source: /r/chelseafc

So say we all.