Antonio Conte reviews Alvaro Morata's progress at Chelsea

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte talked up the potential of Alvaro Morata ahead of the Blues' FA Cup outing versus Norwich City. The Spain international joined the Premier League holders from Real Madrid earlier in the summer, and he has since established himself as the first-choice striker.

Speaking in his press conference, Conte highlighted the achievement of the two-time Champions League winner whilst insisting that the Spaniard has more room to improve as he progress further in his professional career, he said: "Morata scored 12 goals this season and made seven assists. Until now, the stats are good. Don’t forget he’s young, only 25, and it’s the first season he’s playing regularly. He has a lot of space for improvement, we are talking about one of the strikers that can become one of the best players in the world."

The Four Biggest Stars of the World Cup in Russia

The 2018 World Cup in Russia is set to finally kick off on June 14, as the globe's best nations and players prepare to do battle for the biggest prize there is on offer in football.

With so many star-studded squads ready to depart for the finals in Russia this coming summer, the home fans throughout the country will be treated to a host of big names and high-profile players representing their respective nations.

So, ahead of the highly awaited World Cup on Russian soil, here are the top four football stars to look out for in the latest international tournament...

Is Wilshire an Automatic Pick for England?

The resurgence of Jack Wilshire has been one of the feel-good stories of the season for both Arsenal and England fans alike and the midfield maestro has been one of the few stand-out stars during an underwhelming season at the Emirates. The 26-year-old hasn't played for the national side since their humiliating Euro 2016 exit at the hands of Iceland but should he remain injury-free between now and June, he is surely one of the front-runners for a starting position in Gareth Southgate's squad.

Wilshire's season hasn't been without its ups and downs but he has certainly played himself into contention for a place at Russia 2018. The Stevenage-born midfielder suffered another injury scare back in January 2018 when twisting his leg against Chelsea after charging down a cross but it wasn't long until he was back in action, replacing hat-trick hero Aaron Ramsey during the Gunner's superb 5-1 victory over Everton. Prior to being removed at Stamford Bridge, he'd featured in six consecutive matches for the club and had been singled out for praise by a number of television pundits.

Danny Murphy - Alvaro Morata still under pressure to perform

Former Liverpool defender Danny Murphy feels Alvaro Morata is under pressure to perform at Chelsea despite making a strong start to his Premier League career. The Spain international recently scored the winner in the 1-0 triumph over Manchester United, and this has taken his tally to seven goals in just 11 top-flight outings.

In a reported covered by Evening Standard, Murphy feels Morata still has much to prove at Stamford Bridge with his fitness not being one of his best qualities, he said: "Alvaro Morata has made a great start to life at Chelsea but he needs to show he has the physical capacity to stay on the pitch week after week. During Morata’s spells with Real Madrid and Juventus, he was hampered by niggling injuries at different times."

Cesar Azpilicueta hopeful of making Spain's World Cup squad

Chelsea defender Azpilicueta has not given up hope on making Spain's World Cup squad despite being omitted from Julen Lopetegui's latest selection of players. Blues teammate Pedro Rodriguez and Arsenal defender Nacho Monreal were also left out with Lopetegui opting for an experimental squad with less established names.

Speaking to RMC Sport, the Blues favourite insisted that he has no knowledge why he was left out of the 23-man selection, but remains hopeful of making the cut for next summer's World Cup in Russia, he said: "I haven't had any news. There is a lot of competition for places in Spain. I know my job is to do the best I can. My aim is to be at the World Cup and I have to keep working hard."

Wayne Bridge feels Antonio Conte could sign another striker in January

Former Chelsea star Wayne Bridge feels Antonio Conte will be on the search for a new striker in January in order to offer competition to Alvaro Morata.

The Spain international has made a bright start to his Blues career with seven goals in all competitions.

Despite the progress, Bridge believes that Conte will push for a new recruit as Morata is not the best when it comes to the physical side of his game. The ex-England international also took the example of the likes of Didier Drogba and Diego Costa, who were capable of bullying opposition defenders with their physique.


Brazil have come a long way from their scandalous 7-1 defeat at home against Germany. They were touted as the world champs again but the Germans shocked and disgraced them on their own turf and went on to win the event and dominate world football.

With the resurgence of Brazil under Coach Tite, there are even more talks of Brazil returning to world power in football. The South American soccer powerhouse have been excellent in the qualifying campaign of recent, with their form sparking speculations of victory at the mundial in Russia next year.

Eden Hazard relishing the opportunity to play alongside Alvaro Morata

Belgium attacker Eden Hazard is relishing the opportunity to feature alongside Chelsea's summer signing Alvaro Morata.

The 26-year-old has not made a competitive appearance for the Blues this season due to an ankle injury sustained on international duty in June.

Hazard had been taking in reserve games over the past month, and he was a surprise pick for Belgium for their World Cup qualifiers against Greece and Gibraltar. The attacker played his part in both games for his nation, and he can't wait to start playing with Morata in the frontline.


La Liga giants Barcelona are set to sign Brazilian youngster Pedrinho.

The Catalan side have reportedly reached an agreement with Corinthians to sign the player in 2019 or even before then. The player has a €50 million release clause even though he might really be worth around €10-15 million.

Barca are avoiding entering a bidding war with another interested side when the player comes of age. The club has reached a similar agreement with Palmeiras and Fluminense football clubs. Corinthians have around 70 per cent of Pedrinho’s financial rights while the player’s agent holds the rest.

Chelsea boss promises Cesc Fabregas more games

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has assured midfielder Cesc Fabregas a prominent role next season in order to keep hold of his services beyond the summer.

The Spain international was largely a substitute for the Blues until the final stages of the campaign where he was called upon on a regular basis.

Fabregas, now 30, had been linked with a proposed move to big spenders AC Milan earlier in the year, but these rumours have diminished with the player still holding a future in west London. Tiemoue Bakayoko arrived from AS Monaco earlier last week, and this is unlikely to have any implications on Fabregas' future with Nemanja Matic the player, who could be off the Blues books.