Antonio Conte has a near-full strength squad at his disposal as Chelsea get set to face Arsenal at the Emirates on Wednesday.
Chelsea will aim to get back up to second place on the Premier League table, when they take the short trip to North London to take on Arsenal at the Emirates on Wednesday. Ahead of a potentially mouth watering London derby, we take a look at how Antonio Conte could line his side up against the Gunners.
David Luiz is the only major absentee for the Chelsea boss as he continues to recover from a long-term knee injury. Conte though, has exclaimed that the Brazilian defender has stepped up his recovery and could be involved in the FA Cup tie against Norwich on the weekend.
“David Luiz has improved his physical condition a lot and in the last few days he’s been working with us. He could be in contention for the Norwich game. [Charly] Musonda is in the same condition as David. Other than that, the rest of my players are all available for tomorrow and I’m very happy because of this.”
There are some automatic selections for the Chelsea boss, with the likes of Thibaut Courtois, Cesar Azpilicueta, Marcos Alonso, N’Golo Kante and Alvaro Morata certain to start against Arsenal. But, Conte is likely to make a few rotations, as has been the case during the festive period.
Andreas Christensen is one of the players who would be hoping to return to the lineup, after missing the last two games due to a bout of illness. The Dane should replace Gary Cahill at the heart of the back-three, with Antonio Rudiger and Cesar Azpilicueta alongside him.
Up ahead in midfield, Conte could revert to a five-man midfield to create overloads at the centre of the park and wrest control of the game through the middle. If he indeed changes his system, Cesc Fabregas and Tiemoue Bakayoko are likely to start, with Danny Drinkwater also in contention after a fantastic outing against Stoke City.
In attack, Eden Hazard is likely to reprise the floating attacker role behind Alvaro Morata, who is another certainty to start, bar any mishaps prior to the match. Pedro and Willian are the options for Conte, if the Chelsea manager decides to stick to a 3-4-3 formation instead.