The business end of the season is almost upon us and there are still a couple of places in the top-4 up for grabs in the Premier League points table. However, Antonio Conte’s Chelsea are now just six points away from lifting the Premier League title, after the Spurs managed to go down to local rivals West Ham on Friday. Chelsea play Middlesbrough in the next round this weekend and if they can take all three points, they will need just one more win to lift the title.
Steve Agnew’s side are in the drop zone, six points away from safety and are not expected to take anything from this trip to Stamford Bridge. Here is the predicted lineup that Chelsea might field for this tie:
Conte has a couple of issues ahead of this tie. Defender David Luiz and Midfielder N Golo Kante are both suffering from niggles, However, they will be assessed before the game and could yet start on the night.
Expected lineup (3-4-3):
Though missing the last game with a niggle Thibaut Courtois should keep his place in front of the sticks for Chelsea. While Cesar Azpilicueta and Gary Cahill should play on either side of the three-man defence for Conte.
Kurt Zouma could be an option but David Luiz expected to be fit and might keep his place at the heart of the Chelsea defence.
With N Golo Kante a doubt, Conte should not try and push him into the first team for this relatively easy game. While Nemanja Matic can act as the defensive midfielder on the night, Cesc Fabregas should partner the Serbian in the midfield to give French star Kante a much-deserved rest on the night.
Marcos Alonso on the left and Victor Moses on the right have also been productive and Conte has very little reason to tinker with those positions.
Belgian playmaker Eden Hazard has been in impeccable form this season and he is a regular starter on the left side of the attack for the Blues. He has usually been partnered by Pedro by Conte might use Brazilian winger Willian in this position to add some impetus to the Chelsea attack on the night.
Spanish star Diego Costa should continue to lead the attacking line and he will have a huge role to play if Chelsea are to take all three points from this game.
Here is how they would line up: