After a chastening defeat at the hands of Manchester United, Antonio Conte’s side will face another difficult assignment when they take on Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup semi-final. The two sides are fighting tooth and nail for the League title and Spurs perhaps have a bit of momentum after their recent winning streak. Chelsea, however, can wrestle back the momentum if they manage to make the FA Cup final.
The Blues were shackled by a familiar face in Jose Mourinho last weekend as he masterminded a 2-0 win. It was a performance that had Mourinho written all over it as Chelsea simply couldn’t string anything together in the attacking third and didn’t have a shot on target for the first time in quite a while.
Although it’s a cup fixture, don’t expect either manager to make too many changes as there’s too much at stake. Chelsea came out victorious when these two sides last faced off in a Cup tie and here’s the lineup Conte could stick to and look for a similar result.
The back three of Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz and Gary Cahill was interrupted last time as Marcos Alonso missed out due to an illness. He is expected to return and if in case he doesn’t make it back in time, we expect Nathan Ake to get the nod at left wing-back which will preserve the back three of Azpilicueta, Luiz and Cahill. Victor Moses was ineffective last time and will have to be on the top of his game. Thibaut Courtois is still not fit and Asmir Begovic will continue to deputise for him.
Nemanja Matic and N’Golo Kanté will be up against an in-form Spurs attack. The due flattered to deceive against Manchester United when they came up against a young and sharp attack. Spurs have brilliant technical and skilful players in Eriksen, Dele and Kane, so it’ll be a big test.
Eden Hazard and Pedro Rodriguez were stifled by a well-drilled Manchester United midfield in the last game. Expect the same when they take on the likes of Victor Wanyama and Mousa Dembele. Hazard needs to bring other players into the game and his individuality will be of little use as Spurs are a team who defend with cohesiveness.
Diego Costa has been highly ineffective of late and we expect Michy Batshuayi to get the nod instead. Although he doesn’t have the same drive as Costa, he has that extra yard of pace up his sleeve and perhaps that can cause a bit of doubt in the Spurs backline come Saturday.