Alvaro Morata will play for Chelsea against Bayern Munich – Antonio Conte

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Alvaro Morata is set to make his first appearance for Chelsea in the International Champions Cup preseason friendly against Bayern Munich on Wednesday, but Antonio Conte has said he will not start the game.

Morata, 24, completed his move to Chelsea from Real Madrid on Friday for a fee believed to be worth an initial £58m, rising to £70m with add-ons, and did not take part in the 3-0 win against Arsenal on Saturday, but Conte has backed him to succeed.

“My plan is to give him the possibility to play part of the game, but not from the start because he only arrived [on Sunday] and started to work with us,” Conte told a news conference.

“Morata is a young player who has a lot of experience in his career because he played with two big teams in Real Madrid and Juventus. He has also played a lot of games in the Champions League and won it last season.

“He can have a big impact in the Premier League. It’s different if you compare it to leagues in other countries because it’s very tough and physically it’s strong, but Morata is ready to have a big impact.”

With Diego Costa out of favour, Cesc Fabregas has said Morata and fellow striker Michy Batshuayi are under “pressure” to perform.

“They are two young strikers who will have to improve as quickly as possible because they are our main strikers,” Fabregas said.

“When you are the main striker for Chelsea you need to fight for all the competitions and if you are going to fight for all competitions you need your strikers to score lots of goals.

“That’s why I’m saying they are taking this challenge and they will be under pressure. When you’re the striker of a top team this is what you live with and they will have to cope with it.

“I’ve always had a good understanding with him [Morata] to be honest. He’s always been a striker with a little bit of everything. He has a lot of potential, the same as Michy Batshuayi, to improve. It’s up to them how far they want to go.”

Morata notched 20 goals in all competitions last season for Madrid as they secured the Champions League and La Liga.

He has 20 caps for Spain to date and another international colleague, Cesar Azpilicueta, said he was delighted at Morata’s arrival to the Premier League champions.

“I know him as a teammate in the national team and I know he is a very good addition for the club,” Azpilicueta said.

“He’s a young player but with a lot of experience in the top level. It’s a great signing for us and I think he can bring a lot of his qualities into the team.

“It’s his first experience in the Premier League but he played in Italy, he played for Real Madrid, living with high pressure his whole life as a striker.”


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