Chelsea youngster Dujon Sterling was spotted training on Monday, possibly helping to make up the numbers given Victor Moses’s continuing absence due to a toe injury. While Sterling has been one of the stars of the youth team and is a highly promising player who’s impressed at right wing-back, he’s unlikely to deputize for Moses on Wednesday. Instead, that task will likely to fall to Pedro again.
Pedro’s performance on Saturday drew praise from Antonio Conte, and the Chelsea boss is likely to opt for the more attacking option provided by the former Barcelona winger once again, fighting fire with fire against Manchester City’s Leroy Sane. City’s highly mobile attacking front will pose plenty of danger but making them respect Chelsea’s own threats could yet be the best gameplan. After all, that’s what the previous meeting between the two sides came down to earlier this season, with Chelsea proving clinical and City wasteful when presented with chances.
Chelsea were anything but clinical over the weekend — Costa’s return of zero goals from nine shots the chief example — so that will have to change, but whether that also means a slightly different look on the forward line remains to be seen. With Pedro dropping to wing-back, Cesc Fàbregas deputized as the third forward against Crystal Palace. Fàbregas’s invention and creativity were useful against the massed ranks of Sam Allardyce’s men, but with Pep Guardiola subscribing staunchly to a high-line and possession-based tactics, the much quicker and more direct Willian could be a better choice on Wednesday.
The rest of the starters are likely to fall into place as usual.
Courtois | Cahill, David Luiz, Azpilicueta | Alonso, Matić, Kanté, Pedro | Hazard, Costa, Willian
The community’s preferred lineup is the same as against Palace over the weekend.
Courtois (99%) | Cahill (92%), David Luiz (98%), Azpilicueta (98%) | Alonso (96%), Matić (60%), Kanté (99%), Pedro (82%) | Hazard (99%), Costa (90%), Fàbregas (50%)