Chelsea’s performances keeping Antonio Conte awake

Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte is struggling to sleep.

The Blues’ schedule means Sunday’s FA Cup fourth-round tie with Newcastle is their eighth of nine games in January.

And so far Chelsea have won just one of those fixtures, last weekend’s Premier League victory at Brighton, while they squeezed by Norwich on penalties in a third-round replay.

Conte said: “I live this job with great passion, with great love and for this reason sometimes I don’t sleep.”

The Italian reviews his team’s performances on nights when he cannot sleep, which may not be an ideal remedy if those performances are the reason he is being kept awake.

“When I don’t sleep I usually continue to work with the computer also because I don’t want to create problems with my wife,” he added.

“I go to the living room and then sometimes I start to work, to watch the game or to try to find a new solution.

“To watch the game many times is important to understand positive things and negative things and to try to improve your team, especially when you lose.

“For me, it is very important to understand quickly the reason we lost.”

Conte has repeatedly hinted at tensions at Chelsea, largely over recruitment.

Chelsea goalkeeper Willy Caballero signals
Willy Caballero is to continue in goal for Chelsea against Newcastle (Nick Potts/EMPICS)

Ross Barkley, Chelsea’s only signing so far this month, is poised to make his full debut against Newcastle.

Barkley has made one substitute appearance since his move from Everton on January 5, having last played in May following a hamstring injury.

But setbacks to striker Alvaro Morata (back) and playmaker Willian (hamstring) necessitate the England midfielder’s inclusion.

Cesc Fabregas (hamstring) could return, but Thibaut Courtois (ankle) is still out so Willy Caballero is expected to continue in goal.

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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