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Predicted Chelsea lineup against Bristol Rovers: As much rotation is squad depth allows

Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Not only is this second round League Cup match not televised (and not sold out), apparently we haven't even bothered to hold a pre-match press conference.  So we're completely fumbling in the dark here, trying to predict Conte's thinking after knowing the man for barely a couple months.

The one thing we can probably safely assume is that there will be some rotation, perhaps even as much as the current squad depth allows.  We can also probably assume that youngsters who played on Monday in the U23 match against Liverpool (4-1 win for the good guys!) will not take part tomorrow.

This unfortunately rules out young defender Fikayo Tomori as well as left back Jay Dasilva, which is especially unfortunate given that it's the back-line where Chelsea are thinnest at the moment.  As Conte recently lamented, the Blues have five (5!) able-bodied players for four positions, not counting the sure to be leaving on loan Matt Miazga or the mystery center back signing who's sure to arrive before the end of the window once Michael Emenalo fires up his beta copy of Football Manager 2017.  (Just joking; he's using 2016.)  At least Ola Aina's guaranteed to start, right?

Further forward, we should be seeing the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Michy Batshuayi and Victor Moses in action from the start, though whether that will be in the 4-3-3 seen in both games so far or the 4-2-4 seen in both games when we needed to win, is anyone's guess.

Here's my semi-best effort, assuming that none of the players with questionable first-team futures (i.e. Cuadrado, Miazga, Kenedy) are in contention to start.

Begovic | Azpilicueta, Terry, Cahill, Aina | Fabregas, Chalobah, Loftus-Cheek | Moses, Batshuayi, Pedro

It must be the League Cup with NateDogg singing on it!


As far as the community's preference, apparently we're all in agreement.  Now watch Conte not rotate at all.  (Surely, he must, right?)

Begovic | Azpilicueta, Terry, Cahill, Aina | Fabregas, Chalobah, Loftus-Cheek | Moses, Batshuayi, Pedro

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