Chelsea welcome a Championship-bound Sunderland to Stamford Bridge for the last game of their title-winning campaign.
Antonio Conte hasn’t reported any new injuries to his players since their victory against Watford earlier this week so he will likely have a fully fit squad to choose from when they host an injury stricken Sunderland side at Stamford Bridge tonight.
One player who is expected to feature against Sunderland is captain John Terry. Should he start against the Black Cats today, it will be the last time he leads his team out onto the Stamford Bridge turf and the Blues will without a doubt want to give him the best send off possible.
Terry has spent his entire senior career with Chelsea and when he lifts the trophy tonight, it will be the 5th time he has led a team to the title, a feat never before achieved in the Premier League and Conte was full of praise for the Englishman in his pre match press conference.
On being asked whether Terry could become a good manager some day, Conte insisted that Terry had the personality, title winning experience and the knowledge of having worked with numerous managers and that it was very important to have that experience.
He went on to say: “Then it’s very important to take your time to understand which is the best way for you when you finish playing. It’s not easy to say which is the best way. It’s a personal question. If you ask me if he has the possibility and the characteristics to become a good manager in the future, yes, yes.”
Another player who is almost certain to start is Cesar Azpilicueta. The Spaniard has played every minute of every Premier League game so far this season and Conte insisted that this achievement was ‘unbelieveable’ and that he is a ‘great champion’.
He went on to say: “It’s incredible to have a player playing every single minute in this league. Unbelievable. It means Azpi is a great player and a champion on, and off the pitch. When you do this and you haven’t an injury, you are able to play every single minute, it means you are great on and above all off the pitch. This is a great achievement for him.”
Courtois is also expected to start in place of Asmir Begovic as the Belgian is in line to win his first Golden glove award. He currently has 16 clean sheets to his name, 1 more than Hugo Lloris of Tottenham Hotspur. A clean sheet against Sunderland tonight would secure the honour.
For Watford, Antonio Conte made 9 changes to the starting XI that clinched the title at West Brom but given that Chelsea only just managed to scrape through with a 4-3 victory, we can expect the Italian to bring in more first choice players into the starting XI. Antonio Conte will also have one eye on the Arsenal match in a few days’ time, but he will surely be desperate to set a new Premier League record of 30 wins in a season.