Chelsea will make the trip to Selhurst Park on Saturday to face Crystal Palace with a squad struggling to make up the numbers. Alvaro Morata, who limped off in the 35th minute against Manchester City at Stamford Bridge with a hamstring injury faces time on the sidelines and is unlikely to feature against Palace.
Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante was injured while on international duty with France with a hamstring pull and is likely to be the second key player missing from action.
With a squad that was already short on numbers after a huge summer exodus, Chelsea will have to again turn to their youth players to make up the bench. Antonio Conte will be frustrated with the timing of the injuries. The Blues have been unable to set a momentum this season and have not been able to pick up wins in important matches at home so far.
However, their away form has been excellent and with Palace having lost all their seven games this season; Chelsea should be able to win all three points tomorrow. With the Manchester sides already six points ahead of the reigning champions, the match will be a must-win for the Blues if they are serious about defending their title.
Here is how the Blues will look to line up for tomorrow’s match:
Thibaut Courtois is expected to man the goal for the Blues with David Luiz, Cesar Azpilicueta and Gary Cahill likely to be the three centre-backs in defence. Marcos Alonso will probably operate at left wing-back while Victor Moses is likely to be on the other end playing at right wing back.
With N’Golo Kante out and Danny Drinkwater yet to return to full fitness, Chelsea do not have many options to play with. Chelsea’s summer signing Tiemoue Bakayoko and Spanish stalwart Cesc Fabregas are expected to start in the middle of the park as the two-man axis for Chelsea. However, both of them have to be careful and must ensure they do not get suspended or injured.
With Morata injured for the match, Michy Batshuayi is expected to lead the line for Chelsea. The two wing forwards operating just behind him are likely to be Belgian ace Eden Hazard and ex-Barcelona man Pedro.
Willian is expected to come off the bench for the Blues with Conte unlikely to play Hazard for the full ninety minutes keeping their midweek Champions League fixture against Roma in mind. Here is how they might line up: