We’ve reached the final game of the calendar year, which adds a small sense of occasion to what otherwise would be just another standard 3pm Saturday kick-off at Stamford Bridge — then again, 3pm kick-offs are becoming a rare commodity these days, especially at the Premier League’s “big” clubs.
Stoke City, like many of Chelsea’s opponents over the past month, are not exactly in good form, but we haven’t really gotten back into last year’s habit of taking care of teams lower down the table, so this once again could get interesting. Or Chelsea could score early and often; it might just depend on the starting lineup!
So once again it’s a choice between 3-5-2 and 3-4-3 and a choice between extra midfield control or extra threat on the front line and in behind the defenders (assuming they leave any of the latter space).
The big question that we won’t know the answer to until at least Conte’s press conference is weather Andreas Christensen has recovered from his illness that kept him out against Brighton. My guess is yes, but that’s based on nothing but a hopeful hunch. David Luiz and Charly Musonda continue to be sidelined by injuries while there are no suspensions.