Antonio Conte explains why he dropped Cesc Fabregas for Chelsea’s trip to Liverpool FC

Antonio Conte lifts the lid on his decision to drop Cesc Fabregas for Danny Drinkwater for Chelsea's trip to Liverpool FC

antonio conte
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte Photo: Screengrab

Antonio Conte played down the significance of his decision to drop Cesc Fabregas in favour of Danny Drinkwater for Chelsea’s clash with Liverpool FC on Saturday.

The Italian manager opted to play summer signing Drinkwater from the start along with Tiemoue Bakayoko and N’Golo Kante in midfield for the Blues at Anfield, despite Fabregas having been in great form in recent weeks.

Conte then opted to bring Fabregas on late on and the Spaniard helped to inject some creativity into the Chelsea side, as Willian’s late goal cancelled out Mohamed Salah’s opener.

The Chelsea manager was naturally quizzed about his decision to drop Fabregas for the game, and Conte offered the following explanation in his post-match news conference.

Speaking after the game, Conte said: “I think when you play every three days it’s very difficult but every coach tries to make the best decision for his team, it’s important to have rotation otherwise you risk having players who are very tired, in this case Cesc.

“He’s played every game from the start of the season because don’t forget, Bakayoko and Drinkwater were injured.

“We played in China and Singapore with just Kante and Cesc, and then N’Golo was injured but Cesc continued to play.

“He played every game, and played very well in every game, so I took this decision and it was important because when you give a new player this type of chance, in a big game, it shows the coach trusts all of his players. I can count on Drinkwater.”

Chelsea are in third place in the Premier League table as they prepare for their home clash against Swansea City at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.

The west London side are aiming to defend their Premier League title after having won the trophy in Conte’s first season in charge at the club last term.

Chelsea booked their place in the last 16 of the Champions League last week with victory over Qarabag in Azerbaijan.

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