Friday brought the news that Thibaut Courtois might be losing the race to heal his balky hamstring in time for Sunday’s showdown against Tottenham. If he can’t go, the goalkeeping duties will fall to backup Willy Caballero.
Caballero has not done much wrong when called upon this season to deputise for Courtois, and Marcos Alonso tells the official Chelsea’s website that he’s confident the 36-year-old backup will do the job if needed.
“He’s played some really good games this year, in the league and cup. We will see if Thibaut can make it and if not Willy will be ready.
“He’s going through a good moment, he played two games with the national team and I guess his confidence is high.”
Incidentally, both Alonso and Caballero won their first caps over the international break, so there should be no issues with their levels of confidence (even if Caballero did concede five against Spain).
One man whose confidence may not be so high is Alonso’s compatriot Álvaro Morata, but Marcos is hoping that Morata is indeed ready to rediscover his goalscoring form and has backed the 25-year-old record signing, just as Conte did in his press conference. With all these confident vibes sent Morata’s way, hopefully he will come through on Sunday even against the usual physicality of Spurs (if picked).
“After a difficult period he’s been training very well in the last couple of weeks and hopefully he will be on the scoresheet again.
“For players it’s always hard when you have injuries. It’s his first year in the Premier League and you need some time to adapt to a new league and a new country, but I think he’s an important player for us and hopefully he will keep scoring like he did in the last game.”
Alonso, who scored twice when Chelsea beat Tottenham in August including a trademark free kick goal — “that’s part of the past now” — has not shied away from the magnitude of this occasion.
“We play at home and we have to win.”
-Marcos Alonso; source: Chelsea FC
Whether it’s he, or Morata, or Giroud, or whoever else scoring the goal(s) this time around, there’s no two ways about this one.