Chelsea Starting XI vs. Arsenal
Antonio Conte is faced with some tricky decisions ahead of the weekends game at home tom Arsenal. Despite all the negativity surrounding their arrival, the 'newbies' Chelsea's transfer committee have given Conte have all settled into the new surroundings well.
Chelsea`s starting line-up is getting more difficult to predict. As ever though, the first name on the team sheet, is literally, Tibo Courtois. Unless he`s suspended or injured his inclusion is a given.
Defensively, is where Antonio Conte has decisions to make. Gary Cahill came back into the team against Qarabag in the week. Like in the Burnley game, made a rash tackle in the first 15 minutes and got a yellow card for his troubles. With little game time under his belt, the captain is likely to miss the cut for this game. The Italian manager has moulded his central defenders into one interchangeable unit.
Like Tibo, Cesar Azpilicueta is a given for the starting XI. Azpi has more or less been ever present since Antonio Conte arrived at Chelsea. David Luiz will slot back into the defence, having been rested on Tuesday night. The final slot in the back three will most likely be Antonio Rudiger, should Conte feel Cahill is not yet up to speed.
Davide Zappacosta (he scores when he wants) had a good start to his Chelsea career but is likely to find himself benched for this vital game. Victor Moses retains his place, but he does have competition. Marcos Alonso will take the left-sided wing back role, he's always threat in terms of set-plays.
In the centre of defence N'golo Kante will take up his familiar position. Conte now has more decisions as to who partners him. Being Arsenal, who despite their shortcomings, do pose an attacking threat, Cesc Fabregas may miss out to the more powerful Tiemoue Bakayoko.
The big question comes up the top end of the field though, does Eden Hazard start the game. The Belgian is a handful for any team, particularly this Arsenal team. Hazard has to start, despite Conte saying he doesn`t want to rush him back. The only remaining choice the manager has then is Willian or Pedro as the remaining attacking midfielder. Willian is a fantastic player, who can, on his day win any game. Pedro, whilst not tricky to play against, delivers where Willian doesn`t. Pedro is not afraid to shoot, Willian is always looking for an extra touch. End product is more likely to come from Pedro, so for me, he gets the nod.
Striker again, is an instant pick, Alvaro Morata will look to continue in his rich goalscoring vein. Whilst all the talk was of missing out on Romelu Lukaku in the transfer window, record signing Morata has comfortably fitted in with Chelsea`s style of play.
What are your thought's, feel free to put me right in the comments section below.