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Predicted Chelsea lineup against Southampton: Back to Plan A

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It's time for another edition of pick the same lineup that worked before and the time before that, as opposed to making changes for the sake of making changes.  All that could be Antonio Conte's middle name, though it is rather long and unwieldy and thus probably not fit for actual naming practices.  Regardless, here we go with the lineup that destroyed Leicester City and Manchester United.

In goal, it's Thibaut Courtois, going on over 270 minutes without conceding a goal.  The back three of Cahill, David Luiz, and Cesar Azpilicueta isn't exactly the most obvious back-three one could make from the players available at Chelsea, but like Captain Planet, their powers combined seem to exceed their powers individually.  The added numbers make both Cahill and Luiz a more secure option, while Azpilicueta's style of passing works much better as a center-back than as a wing-back where his skills are rather limited.  This back-three setup has proven effective both when David Luiz plays a central role in our distribution (see: Leicester, West Ham second half) and when he passes that off to the wider defenders (see: Hull, Man Utd).

Marcos & Moses remain the unchallenged first-choice players at wing-back, while N'Golo Kante and Nemanja Matic have created a rather solid midfield pairing over the previous few games.  Kante was involved in all 90 minutes of Wednesday's loss, but if there is one player in the team over who's stamina we needn't worry about, it's him.

Up front, Eden Hazard and Diego Costa are nailed on starters, while Pedro has certainly made a strong case for his continuing deployment at right wing over Willian.  Both Willian and Oscar started in midweek when Conte rotated the squad, which leaves me to believe that they will both rotate back to the bench for Sunday's game.

So, just as against Leicester City and Manchester United, the Chelsea eleven should be as follows.

Courtois | Cahill, David Luiz, Azpilicueta | Alonso, Matic, Kante, Moses | Hazard, Costa, Pedro


Unsurprisingly, the WAGNH community is in full agreement, with Pedro's spot in the starting lineup open to any sort of discussion.

Courtois (99%) | Cahill (89%), David Luiz (98%), Azpilicueta (97%) | Alonso (98%), Matic (94%), Kante (99%+), Moses (96%) | Hazard (99%+), Costa (99%+), Pedro (68%)