Chelsea play last this weekend, which is good in that it gives Conte & Co a couple extra days to rest, recover, and figure out some new solutions in training, but is bad in that we could very well be out of the top four by the time kick-off arrives. Liverpool, currently third, play Spurs, currently fifth, at Anfield on Sunday, with Chelsea the Arsenal-esque sandwich in the middle, just two points ahead of the latter and level on points with the former (but with a goal difference two worse).
Continuing to complicate Conte’s task is the squad’s not-insignificant injury list, though Willian and possibly David Luiz, too are both expected to be back. New signings Olivier Giroud and Emerson may not match fit yet however, with Conte not expecting to hand either of them a start just yet. Meanwhile, Morata (back) and Christensen (hamstring) are out.
Chelsea’s schedule has eased up a bit, with only 4 games in the next few weeks leading into the Barcelona clash in the Champions League. The Blues will even have a full week to recover after this game, a luxury we haven’t seen almost all season.