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Predicted Chelsea lineup against Sunderland: Fresh legs in a couple positions

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In his pre-match press conference on Tuesday night, Chelsea boss Antonio Conte refused to reveal or even hint at any semblance of team news ahead of Chelsea's game against Sunderland on Wednesday night at the Stadium of Light.

"At the moment I don't know, I am not sure. It's important today to check the situation and to see if we have all the players available. But I'm not sure at the moment."

"It's a great challenge for us and for our mentality. It's important to give continuity. [...] We are ready to face a lot of games in a few days. We are working very hard to face this Christmas period. Now it's important to start in the right way."

-Antonio Conte; source: Chelsea FC

Conte has made just nine total changes to his starting lineups this season, but there's a decent chance he makes at least half as many for the game on Wednesday.  On the other hand, there's a decent chance that he makes no changes at all and just makes a couple earlier substitutions.  Chelsea have only had three midweek matches all season, and all three were in the League Cup, for which Conte picked largely the backups and second-choice players.

That said, we can perhaps glean some guidance from the West Ham match in the League Cup, in which Conte did not give rests to David Luiz, Gary Cahill, Cesar Azpilicueta, and N'Golo Kante.  They didn't all play in their usual positions (Azpi moved to wing-back to make room for Terry), but I think it's safe to assume that these four will retain their positions for tomorrow.

Other safe assumptions that we can probably make include Courtois in goal, Costa up front, and Eden Hazard in the Eden Hazard position.  We could possibly rotate the wing-backs, but any backup options we might have there (Ivanovic? Aina?) are significant downgrades so Conte will probably just hope that Alonso and Moses can simply keep going.

And just as a wild guess and "easy" rotational option, I think we'll give Willian and Fabregas a start -- if not on Wednesday then on Saturday.

3-4-3:
Courtois | Cahill, David Luiz, Azpilicueta | Alonso, Fabregas, Kante, Moses | Hazard, Costa, Willian

This just so happens to be the community's preferred lineup as well.  Synergy!

3-4-3:
Courtois (93%) | Cahill (87%), David Luiz (76%), Azpilicueta (95%) | Alonso (89%), Fabregas (61%), Kante (85%), Moses (86%) | Hazard (91%), Costa (82%), Willian (61%)