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Predicted Chelsea lineup against Stoke City: Kurt Zouma to the rescue if Moses can’t go

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Chelsea v Brentford - The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images

At this morning’s pre-match press conference, Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte confirmed earlier concerns about Victor Moses’s injury situation, but remained rather vague about whether he or any other players would be forced to miss time.

“Victor Moses today he trained, he trained well, I think he’s available. It’s important to to check a few situations and then make a decision. I prefer to keep them for me [who the other doubts may be].”

-Antonio Conte; source: Express

Usually, when Conte says that we have to check a few situations, it means that there are real injury concerns — Nemanja Matić missing out on Manchester City the most notable example — though it sounds like Moses could very well be available. I was really hoping there would be a bit more clarity, but perhaps Conte himself won’t quite know until tomorrow morning. Or, as usual, he’s just playing his cards close to his chest.

If Moses can’t go, I’d expect Kurt Zouma to step in and play the right side of the three-man defense, with César Azpilicueta sliding over to the right wing-back. This same reshuffle has been an in-game defensive change for the last couple outings, including against Manchester United. Zouma’s height against Peter Crouch could be useful as well.

Other than that, the only other change I expect from Monday night’s win over United is Pedro resuming his starting duties at right inside forward.

3-4-3 (if Moses is fit):
Courtois | Cahill, David Luiz, Azpilicueta | Alonso, Matić, Kanté, Moses | Hazard, Costa, Pedro

3-4-3 (if Moses is not fit):
Courtois | Cahill, David Luiz, Zouma | Alonso, Matić, Kanté, Azpilicueta | Hazard, Costa, Pedro

The vote for the community’s preferred lineup was conducted under the assumption that Moses was fit. The only change here then is Fàbregas against Matić, though I’m not sure Stoke away is the best time to do that.

3-4-3 (92%):
Courtois (98%) | Cahill (83%), David Luiz (96%), Azpilicueta (96%) | Alonso (91%), Fàbregas (73%), Kanté (98%), Moses (79%) | Hazard (98%), Costa (94%), Pedro (87%)