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Predicted Chelsea lineup against Everton: Morata suspension means Hazard at center forward once again

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Chelsea v Everton - Carabao Cup Fourth Round Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images

Antonio Conte tried to play a bit coy after Wednesday’s 2-1 win over Bournemouth, responding with one of his standard lines to questions about the approach to the Everton match, but we’re all expecting Eden Hazard to deputize once again at center forward, just as he had done the previous two games, againt Huddersfield and Southampton.

While against Bournemouth Batshuayi did get his chance to be the actual backup to Morata, it would be very surprising to see Conte call his number against Everton as well. That trust is simply not there, which after 18 months probably speaks volumes.

With Hazard starting, the rest of the team automatically falls into a 3-4-3. Playing two forwards is an option with an actual striker, but with Hazard leading the line, that’s not a viable approach. Meanwhile, Pedro and Willian will need to summon their reserves of energy for a fourth straight start in twelve days.

3-4-3:
Courtois | Cahill, Christensen, Azpilicueta | Alonso, Bakayoko, Kanté, Moses | Pedro, Hazard, Willian

The WAGNH community is in full agreement, which is not something that’s happened too often this season (but was happening with regularity during last season). There was literally one response that did not choose Hazard, so I gave him the first ever 100% lineup vote.

3-4-3 (70%):
Courtois (99%) | Cahill (59%), Christensen (99%), Azpilicueta (99%) | Alonso (97%), Bakayoko (60%), Kanté (99%), Moses (96%) | Pedro (63%), Hazard (100%), Willian (73%)