Morata-less Chelsea set to unleash Plan B vs Everton

Updated: Dec 23, 2017, 12:44 IST | PTI

Antonio Conte says the loss of Alvaro Morata for Chelsea's trip to Everton is a blow to his side's hopes of maintaining their distant pursuit of Premier League leaders Manchester City

Antonio Conte says the loss of Alvaro Morata for Chelsea's trip to Everton is a blow to his side's hopes of maintaining their distant pursuit of Premier League leaders Manchester City. Morata was booked after scoring the added-time winning goal in the midweek League Cup quarter-final victory over Bournemouth that set up a semi-final meeting with Arsenal. 

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte 

The Spain striker, who had come off the bench, initially stuck the ball under his shirt in a gesture to his pregnant wife but he earned the caution for kicking the ball away as Bournemouth attempted to restart the game quickly.

It was Morata's fifth booking of the season, earning the forward a one-game ban and leaving Conte with a decision to make about how best to replace his side's leading scorer.

Michy Batshuayi is the squad's only other recognised central striker but the Belgian failed to impress after being handed a rare start this week.

Previously, Conte has preferred to fill the gap by employing Eden Hazard as a false nine and he is expected to do that once again. "For sure, Morata should have played against Everton," said the Chelsea boss. "He would have started the game, for sure. But now I have to prepare a different plan. I have different options. I have a day to make the best decision ahead of the Everton game. At training everyone was in good form, and I have time to make a decision."

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