Despite his complaints about Chelsea’s suddenly congested schedule — or perhaps precisely because of the changes he made on Saturday in response to that — Antonio Conte assures that Chelsea have plenty of energy left for this crucial mid-week game against mid-table stalwarts Southampton.
“When you have to play this type of game, it is very important to try to find the best solution, to give the right balance in our squad to play these games in these few days. I have in my mind the starting 11 but tomorrow I want to check very well the physical consideration of every single player as our last game was an intense one and used energy. But we have trained very well this season and we have a lot of energy to face this type situation.”
-Antonio Conte; source: Chelsea FC
One would hope that with the title race not done and dusted just yet, we wouldn’t need any extra motivation of course.
Assuming that Gary Cahill will be strong enough to start, and that Costa and Hazard will be restored to the lineup as per Conte’s explanation that they were on the bench on Saturday precisely to keep them fresh for today, the Chelsea lineup should have a much more familiar look to it than against Spurs.
The one change I would not be surprised to see is Cesc Fàbregas coming in for Nemanja Matić. Fàbregas has made three straight starts in home Premier League matches.
Courtois | Cahill, David Luiz, Azpilicueta | Alonso, Fàbregas, Kanté, Moses | Hazard, Costa, Pedro
As usual, the community’s preference tends towards Fàbregas as well, but also rewards Nathan Aké and Willian for jobs well done at Wembley.
Courtois (98%) | Aké (69%), David Luiz (97%), Azpilicueta (97%) | Alonso (97%), Fàbregas (64%), Kanté (98%), Moses (96%) | Hazard (98%), Costa (64%), Willian (60%)