Chelsea have won 3 of their last 4 games in the Premier League and are now just a point behind Manchester United who occupy the second spot in the table. Although the title is likely to be lifted by Manchester City, who are firm favourites at the moment, the race for the top-four spots is really heating up.
Today, Antonio Conte’s men lock horns against Stoke City at the Stamford Bridge in the Premier League fixture and here is how we expect the home side to line-up against Mark Hughes’ side.
Thibaut Courtois bagged clean sheets in both of his last two outings and is set to make yet another start today between the sticks for the Blues.
Ahead of him, we expect to see a defensive wall of three men, comprising of Gary Cahill, Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen. Cahill is expected to be stationed on the left-hand side while Azpilicueta should be placed on the right.
Antonio Rudiger started at the back against the Seagulls, but he is expected to make way for Christensen. The latter was ill and missed the last game but should start in the upcoming fixture.
The right wing-back’s position in Conte’s line-up could be handed to Victor Moses, although Moses has been far from his best. It’s imperative he picks up his form.
As far as the left wing-back slot is concerned, Marcos Alonso is going to be the only choice, for he has been absolutely sensational this season for Chelsea, scoring 5 goals and bagging an assist in the Premier League so far.
The trio of N’Golo Kante, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Cesc Fabregas are expected to line up in the central midfield zone. While Kante and Bakayoko will be injected to bring stability and consistency in the middle, Fabregas will be used to bring fluidity and class with his passes and creativity.
Eden Hazard is expected to be used behind the striker and it goes without saying that the Belgian international would be one of the first names to find a place in Conte’s starting line-up.
Right up front, Alvaro Morata should be finding his place as a striker, having mustered 10 goals and 4 assists for Chelsea in the Premier League so far this season.