Antonio Conte lays out plans for Chelsea’s CL match.

Blues coach Antonio Conte is set to rotate his players when Chelsea make their Champions League return on Tuesday night.

Antonio Conte

The Premier League Champs take on their second of seven games in September on Tuesday when their Group C campaign begins against Azerbaijan’s Qarabag.

Sunday’s league game with Arsenal before a midweek Carabao Cup tie with Nottingham Forest for the Blues, who won the Premier League in Conte’s first season as boss.

The type of domestic games means it’s difficult to decide which players to rest and prioritize the Champions League, Conte explained.

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The Italian said: “You are never relaxed in England, because you have to play a tough league and also FA Cup and also Carabao Cup.

“Now we are starting to play the Champions League. To play 60, 65 games it’s normal, but it’s not easy.

“In my past sometimes before a Champions League game you rested. In England it’s not easy to do this.

“When you make the decision (on selection) there is always the risk. The risk could be to play with the same players as against Leicester and then after the game ‘why didn’t you change the team that was tired?’

“You know very well if you win you’ve made the best decision, if you lose you’ve made the worst decision.

“I must be realistic, I must be calm, to make the best decision for these seven games.

“It’s normal when you have to play seven games in 21 days to rotate my players. I’m very calm about this because I trust my players.”

Conte has Champions League experience as a player, reaching four finals, winning once. He took Juventus to the quarter-finals once as boss and they have thrived in the competition since he left to take charge of Italy.

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He wants to make his mark with Chelsea, the 2012 European champions, but knows it will take time.
“In the Champions League we are starting a path and it will be very important to start building something important,” he added.

“To win a competition, you need to work very hard, to improve over years and to grow step by step and to arrive to be like Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Juventus are the same now.

“You don’t create a big strong team easily.”

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