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Cesc Fàbregas set to start against Arsenal — report

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It's not clear whether the Telegraph's Matt Law is basing this on the available quotes from the broadcast portion of Antonio Conte's pre-match press conference, or the non-broadcast cameras-off portion of it, or if he has some further insight or a well-placed source, but we've come to trust him over many Chelsea matters* so we can probably take him at his word.

(Except the David Luiz deal, but we'll let that slide since he did own up to his incorrect prediction, which is not something we always get from the media at large — though he did delete the original tweet.)

The full report explains the reason as Conte wanting to "put his team out on the front foot" to avoid a repeat of the Liverpool first-half that saw Chelsea shrink in the face of positive opposition.  And of course there's the aspect of rewarding a good performance and good attitude shown in training, which is something Conte's claimed repeatedly to be his modus operandi.

"For Cesc, it's a special game. But the most important thing for Cesc is that, now, he's a Chelsea player and playing very well for Chelsea."

"I'm seeing him very focused, very concentrated, during the training sessions. He played a good game in the cup. I'm pleased with his attitude, with his commitment during training and in the last game. When I called him to come on in the Liverpool game, too. I want to see this in all my players."

-Antonio Conte; source: Telegraph

While we might be able to pick holes in Cesc's game, especially in terms of defensive effort and contributions, he's been saying all the right things and showing all the right moves.  While I personally think Conte will not switch things up in the midfield just yet, we might just get to see Cesc show the Arsenal fans and manager what they're missing out on.

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