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Predicted Chelsea lineup against Bournemouth: Fàbregas and Bakayoko will have to do

Crystal Palace v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Chelsea’s injury situation is slowly improving, but despite Danny Drinkwater’s first ever appearance for the club on Wednesday and N’Golo Kanté’s improving condition, the Blues will once be down to just two midfielders on Saturday — unless we draft in someone like David Luiz again (maybe against Roma in midweek?). But seeing as how the 3-5-2 has so far proven successful only in specialized situations, chances are that Conte will once again opt for the 3-4-3 on Saturday against Bournemouth, which once again will mean that we’ll have to make do with Tiemoué Bakayoko and Cesc Fàbregas in the midfield. This isn’t exactly ideal, and neither player covered themselves in glory last weekend, but they probably still represent Chelsea’s best chance of winning.

Victor Moses’s injury also poses a conundrum. Davide Zappacosta played right wing-back on Wednesday and is thus unlikely to play all three games that are left before the international break and the return of Moses. César Azpilicueta is likely to deputize at least once, if not twice for the summer signing — probably against Roma and Manchester United rather than Bournemouth. It’s a good thing that all five of our first-team center backs are staying healthy, and are affording some flexibility for Antonio Conte.

The rest of the lineup should consist of the usual suspects, who are probably expected to play all three games in the next eight-day period.

Courtois | Cahill, David Luiz, Azpilicueta | Alonso, Fàbregas, Bakayoko, Zappacosta | Hazard, Morata, Pedro

The WAGNH community’s preferred lineup is along similar lines, except with Rüdiger getting the start over the captain, who was the fifth preference among all the center-backs (Christensen got 43%, Cahill just 41%).

3-4-3 (82%):
Courtois (97%) | Rüdiger (70%), David Luiz (75%), Azpilicueta (92%) | Alonso (91%), Fàbregas (58%), Bakayoko (81%), Zappacosta (81%) | Hazard (96%), Morata (93%), Pedro (83%)

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