According to Simon Johnson of the Evening Standard, Antonio Conte “is considering” resting Gary Cahill for this Saturday’s match against Brentford in the FA Cup fourth round. The 31-year-old stand-in captain (with neither Captain Terry nor Vice-captain Ivanović featuring much these days) has started every single competitive game for Conte so far this season.
Cahill might have been due a turn out of the starting lineup anyway purely because of those physical exertions, but last weekend’s game against Hull City affected him mentally as well. It was his challenge that sent the highly unfortunate Ryan Mason to hospital and emergency surgery for a fractured skull. While Mason is on the road to recovery now and Cahill either avoided a concussion or we’re simply ignoring the possibility of him having one, he was apparently “left distraught” by the events, and so Conte will have to make the call whether the center back’s mentally ready to feature again.
With a trip to Anfield following just a couple days after on Tuesday, this is undoubtedly a smart course of action, should we take it. With Nathan Aké back in the fold and Kurt Zouma back fit from his torn ACL, there are plenty of options for cover for Cahill.