Antonio Conte does not have many roster issues at the helm at Chelsea as the Blues brace themselves for a tricky away tie at Stoke City.
Chelsea look to have started off the defence of their Premier League title steadily. However, the Blues will be looking to bounce back from what was a lacklustre performance in a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge last gameweek. Antonio Conte, though, does not have many injury issues to deal with going into their fixture against Stoke.
Pedro was withdrawn at half-time against Arsenal but has been declared fit to feature against Stoke on Saturday. David Luiz is suspended for the tie but Gary Cahill’s return will likely ease Conte’s troubles. The manager confirmed in his pre-match conference that all players except Danny Drinkwater were available at his disposal.
Tiemoue Bakayoko was involved in a car accident in the lead-up to the fixture but the Chelsea manager confirmed that the midfielder is fit and available for the Stoke game. The most positive news, though, is Conte hinting towards Eden Hazard being finally picked in the starting lineup after easing him in post-injury.
“I’m pleased for Eden because in the last game he played very well. He played with great intensity. Now he has overcome his injury and we have to play three games so, yes, there is the possibility to pick him.”
Chelsea star Bakayoko escapes injury after crashing car.
— Goal (@goal) September 21, 2017
Antonio Conte highlighted the importance of discipline again before the away tie at Stoke. David Luiz was given a straight red against Arsenal despite the Italian iterating the same before last weekend’s match and the Chelsea boss will be hoping his side pays heed to his instruction this time around.
“Tomorrow it will be really tough and we must be prepared in the tactical and physical aspect, be disciplined. We are working very well and I’m pleased with the commitment and behaviour of my players. Sometimes red cards can happen, I was a player so I understand this type of situation.”
The tie will be another chance for Andreas Christensen to impress and stake his claim for a more regular spot in the starting lineup.
Kurt Zouma will not be taking to the field for Stoke as he is ineligible to play against his parent club. Mark Hughes, though, has plenty of options at the back as Stoke look to take another scalp at the Bet365 Stadium.