Tuesday afternoon's pre-match press conference brought some good tidings regarding the fitness of two Chelsea strikers, one of whom is likely to start while the other is likely to resume his customary spot on the bench. Manager Guus Hiddink was not optimistic regarding the status of either Diego Costa or Loic Remy after Sunday's match, but he sounded far more positive today.
"Costa is okay. The day after the game he was eager to go out on to the pitch, so I was amazed, but he was recovering very actively so he is okay. I think [he will start]."
"Remy is joining the group. He'd been training individually but in the last two days he practiced with us."
-Guus Hiddink; source: Chelsea FC
Nemanja Matic and Oscar have returned to training as well, though Eden Hazard and Falcao continue to miss out.
Hiddink had made four changes for Sunday's game and given the positive news regarding injuries, there's probably no need to scramble things around too much for this one either. He seems to trust the fitness levels of the squad, though he did talk about keepings this "fresh" and once again gave a bit of lip service to the concept of using youth like Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Kenedy. Still, I would not expect either of those two to start.
Perhaps the biggest unknown is who will start next to John Terry in defense. Hiddink had seemingly preferred Cahill, but Zouma has stepped up with some standout performances and tackles during the older defender's injury-enforced absence. Cahill made his return on Sunday, but wasn't exactly at his best. I'd obviously prefer it if the manager went with Zouma, but he may have different favorites and preferences.
Speaking of favorites, Ballon d'Or 2016 candidate John Obi Mikel will probably be back in the lineup, even though Matic's dizzy spells have stopped. The rest, assuming no surprises with youth or unorthodox choices in attacking positions, pick themselves.
Courtois | Azpilicueta, Terry, Zouma, Ivanovic | Mikel, Fabregas | Pedro, Oscar, Willian | Costa
As is usually the case with the community's choices, they are far more adventurous than any of our two managers' selections this season.
Courtois | Azpilicueta, Terry, Zouma, Ivanovic | Loftus-Cheek, Mikel, Fabregas | Pedro, Kenedy (or Costa, if adjusting for injury doubts), Willian