UPDATE: Turns out it wasn’t an injury, per se, but rather an illness that he couldn’t overcome. Same difference in the end.
Conte says Alonso has a virus. He was ill during the night and tried to play today but could not. #MUNCHE— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) April 16, 2017
Chelsea had already lost one important starter for today’s match at Old Trafford when Thibaut Courtois injured himself (in a promotional appearance!) earlier this weekend and did not even travel with the team to Manchester. But while Chelsea do have a ready-made, if not very often used substitute for Courtois in Asmir Begović, the same can’t be said for the second major pre-match blow.
A late change to the Chelsea XI - Kurt Zouma replaces Marcos Alonso who got injured in the warm-up. #MUNCHE— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) April 16, 2017
It’s unclear exactly how or when, but usual left wing-back Marcos Alonso injured himself in pre-match warmups and whatever the injury, it was deemed severe enough to withdraw him from the starting lineup.
In Alonso’s stead, Kurt Zouma has been drafted in for his second start of the season. Zouma had started against Manchester City before making way at half-time.
Alonso’s injury is even more concerning than Courtois’s as it creates a ripple-effect that has seen Azpilicueta pushed wide to left wing-back and Zouma taking up Azpi’s usual spot on the right hand side of the back three.