Antonio Conte’s Chelsea survived Mourinho’s Manchester United to move into the semi-finals of the FA Cup this season as they look to lift two trophies in Conte’s first season in charge of the club. The Blues are currently 10 points off Tottenham Hotspur in the 2nd place as they are well on their way to the domestic title. They have a few tricky tests left in the competition and this weekend’s trip to Stoke City will surely be one. Mark Hughes’ Stoke City have been decent this season as they stand in the 9th place in the points table. They have picked 4 points in the last two league games and are sure to give Chelsea a tough challenge in this tie. But Conte’s side have been in superb form and are expected to take maximum points from this tie. Here is the predicted lineup that Chelsea might field for this game:
Conte has hardly had issues with injuries this season but he might miss the services of the versatile Victor Moses who picked up a knock in the FA cup game recently. Kurt Zouma is expected to deputize if Moses cannot make it to the squad for this game.
Expected lineup (3-4-3):
The Belgian shot-stopper has been in fine form this season and will hope to have a comfortable game against the Potters this weekend.
Deputizing for the injured Victor Moses, Zouma should play on the right side of the back-3 pushing Azpilicueta on the wing.
The sweeper for Chelsea this season, Luiz has done exceptionally well and will hope to have a decent game against the likes of Petr Crouch in this tie.
The English international has also been solid at the back and Conte should stick with him to complete the backline for his side.
With Moses a doubt for this game, Conte should shift Azpilicueta in a more traditional role for the Spaniard as the right-wing back for this tie.
N Golo Kante:
The French midfield engine is one of the most important players for the Blues and he should partner Fabregas in the middle of the park for his game.
Though Matic has been decent, Fabregas has been effective in front of goal in the last few games and Conte should use him in this tie against Stoke City.
The Italian has done a solid job at left wing-back this season for his side and Conte has no reason to tinker with his position for this weekend.
The Spaniard has been in sizzling form this season and he should start on the left-flank against Stoke ahead of Willian.
After a feisty encounter against Manchester United, Hazard will hope to have a more comfortable game this weekend at the Britannia.
The top goal scorer for the Blues, Costa has also been in impressive form this season and will be the danger man for Stoke in this crunch game.
This is how they would lineup: