It's unusual when Chelsea play games in mid-March with little to no pressure, but that's what we've been reduced to this season. Chelsea take on West Ham on Saturday at Stamford Bridge, and while the players and manager all certainly want to win, and still have a remote shot at finishing in the Europa League places, there's not likely to be the usual backlash if they don't, as the fans have seemingly accepted that this season is basically over.
That said, Antonio Conte is definitely watching this group closely, before he takes charge at the end of Euro 2016. For fringe players and youngsters, these nine matches offer a wonderful opportunity to impress the new manager, and Guus Hiddink has claimed he'll be giving some of those youngsters chances as the season winds down.
Here's the lineup Guus has opted to go with today, which has little youth involved:
Team to face West Ham United: Courtois; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry (c),— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) March 19, 2016
Azpilicueta; Mikel, Fabregas; Willian, Oscar, Kenedy; Remy. #CFC
Fortunately, Hiddink has named a few youngsters to the bench:
Today's subs: Begovic, Baba, Matic, Loftus-Cheek, Pedro, Traore, Pato.#CFC— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) March 19, 2016
Meanwhile, West Ham are still chasing a Champions League place, and have gone with a very strong lineup:
WEST HAM UNITED: Adrian, Antonio, Reid, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Kouyate, Noble (c), Lanzini, Payet, Valencia, Sakho #WHUFC #CHEWHU— West Ham United FC (@whufc_official) March 19, 2016
WEST HAM UNITED SUBS: Randolph (GK), Oxford, O'Brien, Obiang, Song, Emenike, Carroll #WHUFC #CHEWHU— West Ham United FC (@whufc_official) March 19, 2016
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