Chelsea have suffered two unexpected league defeats on the trot and Antonio Conte’s current standing at the club seems to be on a shaky ground. Their 0-3 home defeat at the hands of Bournemouth was followed by a 4-1 thrashing by Watford at the Vicarage Road last weekend.
The race for a top-four finish is spicing up and the London based outfit can no longer be complacent in their endeavours. On Monday, they host West Bromwich Albion, who are struggling for survival and are placed rock-bottom in the league table. Here is how we expect Conte to roll out his starting line-up against the Baggies.
Of late, Thibaut Courtois has fallen short of the yardsticks he has set for himself. His form and shot-stopping rate have diluted considerably. But given that Conte’s job is on the line, the Italian is unlikely to resort to a second choice custodian.
Andreas Christiansen is recovering as expected but he might not be rushed into the starting line-up. This should render David Luiz the opportunity to start at the back and the Brazilian must showcase his leadership and resilience against the Throstles.
Along with Luiz, we expect to see Cesar Azpilicueta and Gary Cahill being pencilled in the starting XI to form the defensive wall. Chelsea’s defence has been questioned pretty often and it is high time for them to get their act back together.
Marcos Alonso has been one of the most decorated and influential players for the Blues this season. He should make a return to the starting line-up as the left wing-back after sitting out against Watford.
Victor Moses is anticipated to start as the right wing-back. His pace, industry and ability to dribble with relative ease should be of great importance against Albion.
Tiemoue Bakayoko was sent off in Chelsea’s loss last weekend against the Hornets and the midfielder is set to be replaced by Cesc Fabregas. Fabregas could have a major say in the game if he gets into the scheme of things with his passing and creativity. N’Golo Kante should be accompanying him in the central midfield.
Alvaro Morata is still struggling with his back injury and thus, Olivier Giroud might get his first start in a Chelsea shirt. Willian and Eden Hazard are more than capable of creating chances and scoring goals and should start against Alan Pardew’s men on the right-wing and left-wing, respectively.