Antonio Conte will be thankful he has most of his side on the positive end of the fitness test as he will have to once again rotate his team for the weekend match.
Chelsea were sluggish in their 1-0 win over an unimpressive Swansea City side but made up for it with an impressive 3-1 win over Newcastle United last weekend.
Chelsea have already qualified for the next round of the Champions League fixtures and despite failing to top the group, Conte’s men will be buoyed by their display against one of Europe’s top side in the midweek.
Chelsea are currently 11 points adrift of Manchester City and a sprint for the title already looks over. Instead, head coach Antonio Conte has asked his team to focus on overtaking the team sitting currently above them, Manchester United. Jose Mourinho’s side are three points ahead of the defending champions and are looking in good form themselves after passing a stern test last weekend when they visited The Emirates to face Arsenal.
Conte will know the significance of every win now with the race for top four already heating up. Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and surprise package Burnley are all within shooting distance of Chelsea and slipping up against weaker sides like West Ham United is simply not an option for Conte.
Here is how he will look to set his team up for a match the Blues will be expected to win comfortably.
Thibaut Courtois will be expected in goal after playing one of the easiest games of his career against Swansea City on the weekend last time in the league. The defensive three is expected to be without David Luiz who is still out with a knee injury.
Cesar Azpilicueta might make a return after being benched for the match against Swansea City although he did play the Atletico Madrid match. Antonio Rudiger will be expected to return to the left side of the defensive three with Andreas Christensen at the base of the defence again.
Marcos Alonso will prepare for what will be his umpteenth match this season as a left wing back with Davide Zappacosta expected on the right side. However, Alonso will be relatively fresher than he has been since August after getting some much-needed rest during the midweek tie against Atletico Madrid.
Danny Drinkwater along with N’Golo Kante can be expected at the base of the midfield with Cesc Fabregas up ahead of them. Tiemoue Bakayoko who had another forgettable match against Atletico Madrid will be demoted to the bench.
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