Chelsea lost for the first time in four games on Tuesday, but the manner, timing, and final scoreline of said defeat has made it feel a lot worse than it’s likely to ever actually matter in the end. Chelsea should still qualify for the knockout rounds of the Champions League, where there will be no easy opponents left.
But the pilot light of CRISIS never goes out and is ready to explode into a blazing inferno of the wrong kind at a moment’s notice. Certainly, a defeat on Sunday would throw plenty of lighter fluid onto that situation.
The one big boost that Conte is counting on for this game is the long-awaited return of N’Golo Kanté. While the midfielder only rated his own chances of playing at 50-50 after the Roma loss, it would appear that one way or another, by hook or by crook, Chelsea will ensure that he’s out there against the only team he’s ever scored on in Chelsea colors (twice, even!).
Otherwise, all players others than Victor Moses are available. Many might be tired, bruised, battered, jaded, and have had their feelings hurt over the past few days, so hopefully they’re all ready to take out their anger and frustration on the visitors at Stamford Bridge.