Chelsea boss Antonio Conte was asked in his pre-match press conference whether the new kids on the block, who are both expected to be starters given their transfer fees, ages, and skills, will be ready to do just that on Sunday, or if they need a bit more time to get acclimated. Unsurprisingly, the answer was the latter.
"I think the new players need a bit of time to work with a new method, a new philosophy, a new idea of football and it's important to give them a bit of time.For this reason their chance of playing from the start is not high."
-Antonio Conte; source: Chelsea FC
With the rest of the squad fully healthy (bar Kurt Zouma's continuing ACL recovery) and now whole with the return of Mikel John Obi as well, Conte has multiple options at his disposal. Which will no doubt come in handy as the fixture list gets busier next week thanks to the third round of the League Cup. But for now, there's little reason to expect drastic changes from the boss.
Other than the return of Willian to full fitness, I'm expecting the same lineup as against Burnley. Willian's knock meant that right wing was the one enforced change Conte had been making to this otherwise first-choice configuration.
Courtois | Azpilicueta, Terry, Cahill, Ivanović | Kanté | Hazard, Matić, Oscar, Willian | Costa
The WAGNH community's preferred choice is very similar, except the obvious change of dropping Ivanović. We'll see when (if?) this expected demise of the Chelsea vice-captain will actually happen.
Courtois | Alonso, Terry, Cahill, Azpilicueta | Kanté | Oscar, Hazard, Matić, Willian | Costa