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Predicted Chelsea lineup against Arsenal: Time for Hazard and the 3-5-2 to shine again

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Arsenal v Chelsea - Emirates FA Cup - Final - Wembley Stadium Photo by Adam Davy/PA Images via Getty Images

In his pre-match press conference, Antonio Conte acknowledged the good work and strong effort his entire squad have been putting in over the past couple months, with Chelsea losing just once in 14 tries since that 3-0 debacle away in Rome.

“It is very important in my plan to involve all my players and we are doing a really good job in this situation because we are making many rotations but at the same time our results are positive, and it means all my players are working very well. My target is to have all my players in the peak of their form, especially as there is now the second part of the season and this is the very important part because you are able to reach your target or not reach you target.”

-Antonio Conte; source: Chelsea FC

Currently on a six-match unbeaten run, the Blues come into Wednesday’s game at the Emirates on the back of a 5-0 drubbing of Stoke City, which featuerd multiple changes to Conte’s first-choice lineup. We’re thus set up perfectly for this next game, especially with only an FA Cup diversion to follow over the weekend.

So, it’s first-choice all the way, which means the big game 3-5-2 formation (especially away from home), the Morata-Hazard pairing up front (with the latter rested over the weekend), a midfield trio with Cesc and Baka, and Christensen back in the middle of the defensive line after recovering from illness.

3-5-2:
Courtois | Cahill, Christensen, Azpilicueta | Alonso, Bakayoko, Kante, Fabregas, Moses | Hazard, Morata

The WAGNH community’s preference is basically the same thing, but with Rudiger instead of Cahill (42%) and Drinkwater instead of Bakayoko (35%). I would be surprised if Conte agreed with those choices come tomorrow, but we’ll just have to wait and see!

3-5-2 (70%):
Courtois (99%) | Rudiger (65%), Christensen (92%), Azpilicueta (99%+) | Alonso (98%), Drinkwater (55%), Kante (99%), Fabregas (74%), Moses (88%) | Hazard (99%), Morata (96%)