Antonio Conte has a near full-strength squad at his disposal as Chelsea host Leicester City at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Chelsea would be looking to shrug off their recent stalemate curse – after a run of three successive, frustrating draws over the last week – when they welcome Leicester City to Stamford Bridge on Saturday. The Blues would also be looking to displace Manchester United from second place on the table.
Chelsea fans might feel a bit pessimistic regarding their manager’s future after Antonio Conte expressed doubts over his future commitments at the Bridge, However, they can be optimistic regarding any niggling injury concerns to any of the squad members.
The only player who is unavailable for the visit of Leicester is Ross Barkley, who is working his way towards peak match fitness. But, the Chelsea boss, in his pre-match press conference, has expressed his happiness over the progress that the player is making, expecting him to make his debut against Norwich in the FA Cup 3rd round replay.
“We must be satisfied with his physical condition. He is working very hard these days and maybe for the next game against Norwich he could be available to be in contention. I hope so, because if he continues in this way, why not? This guy is not 100 per cent ready but I think he can start to help us for the rest of this season.”
With a near full-strength squad at his disposal, the major decision that Conte will need to make is regarding the formation of his side. And, the Chelsea boss is likely to field a 3-4-3 formation, as the 3-5-2 hasn’t given much dividends with much more onus on the front two to provide the outlet for goals.
Conte could bring in Gary Cahill in place of Antonio Rudiger, who played the last match against Arsenal, with the other two slots in the back-three firmly held by Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta.
The ever-dynamic N’Golo Kante and the sluggish-yet-effective Cesc Fabregas could be fielded in the middle. Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses have made the wing-back positions their own at Chelsea and should start on Saturday as well.
Up ahead in attack, Conte is likely to field Pedro and Eden Hazard on either side of Alvaro Morata. Chelsea have struggled for goals of late, with Morata and Hazard often cramped for space. Bringing in an extra-man upfront could provide more room for the duo to operate on and exploit the opposition’s defense.
Meanwhile, Morata hasn’t scored since past 4 matches and will be desperate to get his name on the scoresheet and the same goes for Hazard as his barren run in front of goal continues too.