Chelsea’s record signing Alvaro Morata will not play tonight against Huddersfield Town at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Antonio Conte confirmed yesterday that the £55m man is “tired and there is a problem in his back. He is out.”
Morata is Chelsea’s top scorer in the Premier League this season with nine goals.
His absence means that Michy Batshuayi, who was widely ridiculed for pressing a hot water bottle to his face on the bench during Chelsea’s defeat to West Ham on Saturday, will most likely start up front tonight in frosty temperatures and heavy rain.
Batshuayi, 24, has only started two games in the League this season - a home loss to Burnley and an away defeat to Crystal Palace.
Conte said his depleted squad had suffered from a recent fixture pile up and even blamed the club’s pre-season tour to Asia for his players’ fatigue.
He said: “It is difficult because to face a game every three days is not simple, especially if your squad is not big, but at the same time we have to face this situation.
“For sure, some players can be tired, that’s normal because some players are playing from this summer and our tours in China and Singapore. It’s normal.”
The Champions could also be missing former Terrier Danny Drinkwater and Brazilian centre-back David Luiz for the contest against the Town. Drinkwater is struggling to recover from an illness that kept him out of the West Ham game and David Luiz is coming back from a long-term knee injury.