Chelsea continue to deal with at least three major injuries, with Thibaut Courtois (ankle), Willian (hamstring), and Alvaro Morata (back) all confirmed out for Sunday’s FA Cup clash against Newcastle United. While Conte may have chosen to play a more rotated side anyway, after a grueling midweek outing and with a midweek league match coming up as well, he will have his hand forced in some respects.
There is some good news as Cesc Fabregas is back in training, but will need his fitness checked before making his return. In his pre-match press conference, Conte also hinted at a potential start for Ross Barkley and claimed that Charly Musonda is available as well — though surely Musonda is nearing a loan move.
Unlike Chelsea, Newcastle did not have midweek commitments but do follow this up with a must-win game on Wednesday against Burnley. That could result in some rotation for the Magpies, but Benitez could surprise by picking a strong lineup.
For Chelsea, it might just be a case of picking the most fit players available.