Eight out of the eleven spots in the starting lineup pick themselves at this point, so let’s talk briefly about the remaining three.
First, there is David Luiz. According to reports on Thursday, his knee is in good enough condition to play tomorrow, though full recovery is not expected to happen until he can rest it for an extended period of time over the summer. Fortunately, there are no major international tournaments scheduled for this summer (even if David Luiz does get a recall to the Brazilian national team), so if he can manage to last that long without causing himself any further major damage, he should be able to fully recover before next season. I suspect Conte will address this question in his press conference coming up shortly, but I expect him to also confirm that David Luiz will be out there to anchor the backline.
Second, there is Eden Hazard. While there have some vocal calls for Conte to give our star man a rest day (which he didn’t get against Wolves last weekend), the 90% silent majority have overwhelmingly voted him into their preferred lineups (see below), and chances are Conte will do the same as well on Saturday.
Last but not least, there is Cesc Fàbregas, and perhaps the one and only true decision that has to be made in the squad. While Conte seems to prefer the tremendous solidity of the Kanté-Matić pairing, Fàbregas does provide a cutting edge in attack that neither of those two possesses. And that’s not a knock on any of them; they are just different players. But against a Swansea City likely to sit deep, keep things simple, and hope to hold out as long as possible, Cesc just might be needed from the very start of the game. Given Costa’s penchant for scoring against the Swans, getting his number one enabler into the game from the beginning sounds like a good idea to me.
So, the bold prediction is that Cesc will get the start. We’ll see in a little over 24 hours if we were right.
Courtois | Cahill, David Luiz, Azpilicueta | Alonso, Fàbregas, Kanté, Moses | Hazard, Costa, Pedro
The community’s preferred lineup is in full agreement. Forza!
Courtois (97%) | Cahill (87%), David Luiz (89%), Azpilicueta (98%) | Alonso (93%), Fàbregas (69%), Kanté (99%), Moses (95%) | Hazard (90%), Costa (98%), Pedro (85%)