After suffering two embarrassing defeats in the Premier League, Chelsea will look to get back to winning ways when they host West Brom at Stamford Bridge.
As things stand, the Blues are placed fifth on the table with 50 points to their name. There are 2 points behind the fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur and four points behind Liverpool, who are third. Nothing less than 3 points will do for the Blues if they wish to get back to fourth place.
In his pre-match press conference, Antonio Conte provided some injury updates. The Blues are going to miss out on the services of Tiemoue Bakayoko, who will be serving his one-match suspension. In defence, Andreas Christensen will be subject to a late fitness test.
The Dane has been sorely missed in the heart of the Chelsea defence over the past two games, where the champions conceded 7 goals. Christensen’s importance wasn’t lost on Conte, and the Italian was full of praise for the 21-year-old.
“Andreas Christensen, for sure is an important player for us. It’s right to look at the stats, but we have to take them in the right way. Christensen is playing a fantastic season. I don’t know what happened in the last two games, because it has happened that Christensen didn’t play and we didn’t concede a goal in the past, but in the last two games, we conceded seven goals.”
So if fit, the Dane is almost certain to start in the middle. If not, David Luiz will likely take his place in the centre with Antonio Rudiger coming into the left side of defence. Victor Moses is expected to come into the right wing-back slot, with Marcos Alonso setting up shop on the left.
Cesc Fabregas will almost certainly come into the squad and replace the suspended Tiemoue Bakayoko alongside N’Golo Kante. Danny Drinkwater could start along with them as well, if Conte chooses on playing a five-man midfield.
Upfront, Olivier Giroud will likely make his Stamford Bridge debut and the first start of his Chelsea career as Alvaro Morata has been ruled out for an unknown period of time. Eden Hazard will likely start on his left, with Willian on the right, as it may still be too soon to start Pedro.