Chelsea’s successful start to the season has come to a grinding halt with defeats against Liverpool and Arsenal, after a 2-2 draw against Swansea City gave the earliest indications of evident chinks in the armour of the Chelsea team managed by Antonio Conte. They had a fairly positive start after they saw off West Ham and Watford courtesy of late strikes from Diego Costa. Their best performance till now has come against Burnley at Stamford Bridge where they won 3-0. But it turned out to be a false dawn and it is clear that Antonio Conte needs a summer overhaul to make this team strong enough to challenge for the top honours domestically and in Europe. The likes of Cahill and Ivanovic have looked short of confidence and have been susceptible to pace and pressure, alike.
They face a Hull City side who shipped 5 goals against Liverpool last week and are quickly reverting to the dire situation people expected them to be in before the start of the season. The Tigers started off on a positive note surpassing all expectations and defeating Leicester on their opening day before a 2-0 win over Swansea. But things have not been as rosy for them since then, losing 3 out of the next 4.
Chelsea will be confident of a win at the KCOM Stadium but Conte will be sweating over the overall state of the team, especially of the defence.
T40’s PREDICTED CHELSEA LINE-UP VS HULL CITY (4-1-4-1)
Thibaut Courtois will take his usual spot between the sticks but has to raise the level of his performances having looked jittery off late. Branislav Ivanovic will likely be given another run-out at right back and will be hopeful of a less stressful day in the office. John Terry will give a much-needed boost to Conte after missing the last couple of games and his return might give a breather to Gary Cahill who has been error-strewn this season. David Luiz can partner Terry in that case. Azpilicueta will be at left-back once more.
N’Golo Kante hasn’t been as imperious in the last couple of matches but will look to get back to his best form against Hull City where his workload is expected to be slightly lesser. Fabregas failed to impress in the chance he was afforded against Arsenal, which might see a return for Oscar alongside Nemanja Matic in the slightly advanced midfield roles.
Eden Hazard will look to get attacking returns from his left-flank position with Willian lining up on the opposite side. Chelsea’s best player so far, Diego Costa, will again start in the lone striker’s role.