Christensen Back, Hazard Rested?
Chelsea await the visit of on Saturday, of a Stoke City side decimated by injury. The fact that loanee, Kurt Zouma, is unable to play against his parent club adds to Mark Hughes` problems.
But never mind, at Vital Chelsea we`re more interested in how Chelsea will line-up against the Potters rather than vice-versa.
For sure, Thibaut Courtois will be looking to carry on his recent good form, his appearance is almost guaranteed.Antonio Conte is likely to recall Andreas Christensen following illness, in the centre of a defensive three. Either side of the young Dane Cesar Azpilicueta and Antonio Rudiger complete Chelsea`s strongest back line.
Conte`s rotation of players most often involves a change of formation as well. Having played 3-5-2 against Brighton on Tuesday, don`t be surprised to see a 3-4-3 start on Saturday.
Marcus Alonso makes the side on account of his dead ball play alone, never mind his wing work. On the other side Victor Moses also works well as he patrols the right touchline.
In the centre of midfield it`s an opportunity for N`golo Kante and Danny Drinkwater to regain some of their Leicester City understanding, should Conte chose to. That said Conte does appear to like Cesc Fabregas in his team so, he`s, more likely to play in place of DD.
There`s a small possibility that Eden Hazard will be rested ahead of the Arsenal game in the new year. If so, Pedro and everyone`s favourite, Willian will sandwich Alvaro Morata who will play as striker.
Once again three points are crucial as Chelsea look to maintain space between themselves and the chasing pack. With Manchester United kicking off Saturday evening against Southampton, it`s a chance to jump into second place, at least for a couple of hours.