Antonio Conte Confirms 2 Starters for Chelsea FA Cup Tie
Chelsea start their 2016-17 FA Cup campaign on Sunday when they play host to League One opposition Peterborough at Stamford Bridge.
Ahead of the game, Blues boss Antonio Conte has been speaking at his pre-match press conference to give the media a team news update.
The Italian tactician revealed that Kurt Zouma will make his first start for the Premier League leaders since 7 February last year after rupturing his cruciate ligament in a knee.
Zouma has played for the reserve team this season and even featured once in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy for the under-23s.
Antonio Conte confirmed to Chelsea’s official website:
“Zouma will start, he is ready to start
“He deserves to start. It’s a good opportunity to show me he is in good form and to give me another opportunity when I go to choose the starting XI.
“His injury was very bad. I knew this. I talked with my club about this injury, and for this reason we knew Kurt needed more time to recover.
“Now he is in good shape and he is ready to play and to restart his career.”
As well as the French international, Conte also confirmed that big summer signing Michy Batshuayi will get a rare start on Sunday.
The Belgian international made three starts in the EFL Cup this season but has been limited to only 12 substitute appearances totaling 84 minutes in the Premier League to date.
Batshuayi was even overlooked in Chelsea’s recent 3-0 victory over Bournemouth when Diego Costa was suspended. Eden Hazard played the false nine role instead.
“I have a good opportunity in this game to see Michy from the start, and this is important,’ Conte said of the Belgian.
“Diego is doing very well, he is playing a lot, and I didn’t take a final decision because there is also tomorrow’s training, but for Michy it could be a good opportunity to show me his promise.
“I repeat: it’s not easy to arrive in England in this league and adapt very well, above all if you are striker and a young player, because this league is very physical, but he is working a lot. He is improving and going into our idea of football. On Sunday for him and for other players it will be a good opportunity to show me he deserves to play more in the future.”
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