Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Conte confirmed in his pre-match press conference he is ready to leave out a number of his star men, including Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata, for the opening group stage game against the Azerbaijani side.
The Italian insists he has no choice but to make changes in a bid to keep his squad fresh, with Tuesday night’s European fixture the second of seven games in just 21 days for the Blues.
But Wilkins, the former Chelsea star and assistant boss, claims it is the wrong call to play a ‘weakened’ side against Qarabag.
Speaking to Jim White on talkSPORT: “I would struggle to be a footballer in the modern day because of the way the teams are always chopped and changed. I couldn’t have that because you train day in, day out to perform on the big stage and there is none bigger than the Champions League.
“The Champions League has become very, very special over the last couple of years and you want to play in these games. These are the big games to play in.
“I know it might be Qarabag but who gives a monkey’s – go and put them to the sword.
“As soon as that music cranks up at a stadium, I have got no hair but something stands up on the back of my neck!
“Supporters pay a lot of money to watch these games and they want to see the best players they possibly can.”