Chelsea host Newcastle United this weekend after the win against Swansea in the midweek. The Blues know that anything less than a victory would kill their title aspirations. Since the loss at Roma, they have been in fine form, however, with four wins and a draw. But somehow, it’s not enough to catch Manchester City, who seem to be winning every game at the moment.
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Antonio Conte confirmed that David Luiz has fluid on his knee, which will keep him sidelined. Cesar Azpilicueta and Eden Hazard will start after getting a breather in the previous game.
Victor Moses will be hoping for a start in order to come back to full fitness.
Predicted line up: (3-4-3)
Thibaut Courtois will start in goal for Chelsea. Had a fairly low-key game last time as he barely had to do anything against Swansea.
Cesar Azpilicueta will return to the right side of the back three. Conte was smart to give him some rest as he had every game until the midweek fixture. He has been solid as ever and can put in a few crosses for his compatriot Alvaro Morata.
Andreas Christensen will play at the centre. Being a revelation this season, he has absorbed all the pressure and taken up more responsibility. He has been one of Chelsea’s best players this season.
Antonio Rudiger will play on the other side. He scored the winner against Swansea, his first ever Premier League goal. After that horror show he produced against Roma, he has been pretty tidy and will look to keep it that way in the upcoming game.
Marcos Alonso will play as left wing-back. The Spaniard’s defensive game has surely gone up and he will look to create a few chances from the left as well.
Victor Moses should start as he is back. Zappacosta has been playing a lot of games and needs a breather.
Cesc Fabregas and N’Golo Kante will continue their partnership which is flourishing quite well. The pass master is still looking for his 50th Premier League goal.
If Chelsea kill the game early, then considering the Christmas schedule, Conte could bring in Danny Drinkwater in place of one of the midfielders.
Eden Hazard will surely start as he was given a rest against the Swans. It’s a tough call to decide whether between Pedro and Willian, but the former should start as his understanding with Hazard is sublime.
Alvaro Morata, who could have scored at least a couple of goals last time out, will look to bring in some consistency to his game and get closer to Mo Salah, the league’s top scorer.