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lineups

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Chelsea host Southampton at Stamford Bridge in a crucial clash for the Premier League title race, with kick-off scheduled for 7:45PM BST tonight.

Team News 

CHELSEA

  • Gary Cahill has recovered and is expected to feature against Saints, despite also Nathan Ake could be given another chance;
  • Eden Hazard and striker Diego Costa will likely start tonight after coming off the bench in the FA Cup Semifinal at Wembley last Saturday.

SOUTHAMPTON

  • Oriol Romeu is finally back following a two-match suspension;
  • Matt Targett (hamstring) and Charlie Austin (shoulder) have been ruled out from the clash as they will return to training this week
  • Sam McQueen is still on doubt but was selected in Southampton’s provisional squad.
  •  Also Virgil van Dijk (foot) and Alex McCarthy (hamstring) remain absent.

Predicted Line Ups

Chelsea (3-4-2-1) Courtois; Azpilicueta, Luiz, Ake; Moses, Kante, Matic, Alonso; Willian, Hazard; Costa

Southampton (4-2-3-1): Forster, Cedric, Stephens, Yoshida, Bertrand, Davis, Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Tadic, Redmond, Gabbiadini

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Chelsea are in FA Cup Semifinal against Tottenham Hotspur, rival also in the Premier League only 4 points behind Antonio Conte‘s men so far.

Rumours of the Italian manager resting Diego Costa and Eden Hazard were confirmed.

 

Official Line Ups have been announced:

CHELSEA (3-4-2-1) Courtois; Azpilicueta (c), David Luiz, Ake; Moses, Kante, Matic, Alonso; Willian, Batshuayi, Pedro.

Subs: Begovic, Zouma, Terry, Chalobah, Fabregas, Hazard, Diego Costa.

Manager: Antonio Conte

 

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR (3-4-2-1) – Lloris (C), Trippier, Dier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Wanyama, Dembele, Son, Eriksen, Dele, Kane.

Subs: Lopez, Davies, Walker, Wimmer, Sissoko, Nkoudou, Janssen.

Manager: Mauricio Pochettino

 

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Kick-Off: 5.15PM BST

Venue: Wembley Stadium

 

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Manchester United will host Chelsea at Stamford Bridge tomorrow, in a game which could be crucial in Premier League title race.

MANCHESTER UNITED

Team News

  • José Mourinho has confirmed that Juan Mata, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling are all ruled out for the clash against Antonio Conte‘s men;
  • Ashley Young (groin injury) and Wayne Rooney (ankle) are expected to be fit for the clash after training every day this week;
  • David De Gea is reportedly set for a comeback after missing Manchester United game against Sunderland, but backup goalkeeper Sergio Romero is expected to feature with Chelsea.

Predicted Line Up

Manchester United (4-2-3-1) Romero, Darmian, Bailly, Rojo, Shaw, Fellaini, Herrera, Pogba, Mkhitaryan, Ibrahimovic, Lingard.

CHELSEA 

Team News

  • No concerns for Antonio Conte as Chelsea will have a fully-fit squad for the trip to Manchester United.

Predicted Line Up

Chelsea (3-4-3) Courtois, Azpilicueta, Luiz, Cahill, Moses, Kante, Matic, Alonso, Pedro, Costa, Hazard.

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stamford_bridge

ChelseaCourtois; Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Cahill (c); Moses, Kante, Fabregas, Alonso; Pedro, Diego Costa, Hazard.

Subs: Begovic, Zouma, Terry, Matic, Loftus-Cheek, Willian, Batshuayi

Manager: Antonio Conte

SwanseaFabianski, Olsson, Mawson, Fernandez, Naughton, Cork, Fer, Carroll, Sigurdsson, Llorente, Routledge

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Wolverhampton Wanderers 

Wolves

Chelsea – Begovic; Zouma, Terry (c), Ake; Moses, Chalobah, Fabregas, Pedro; Willian, Diego Costa, Hazard

Subs:  Eduardo, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Kenedy, Kante, Loftus-Cheek, Batshuayi

Manager: Antonio Conte

Venue: Molineux Stadium

Kick-Off: 5.30 BST

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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte spoke ahead of the incoming F.A. Cup clash against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The Italian manager said: “When you are in a great team the target is to win, not to try to have 21 players all happy and you don’t win anything. The owner does not ask for this, to make 21 players happy”.

“We are in his great competition to try to win, not just to find a solution to make someone happy, I have to show always respect to my players and make the best decisions for every game and today for sure I will try to do this”.

Conte, speaking at press conference yesterday, confirmed that he will extend FA Cup rotation by resting some starters at The Molineux today.

“When a player does not start he is not happy, – he stated – But I don’t want him to be happy because I want the player to try to fight to give me problems to solve to find the best selection for the team”.

“I am pleased to have a group of players that are growing very well in all aspects – technical, tactical and mentality, feeling the right responsibility for the season. Believe me, it is not easy to have those type of groups, and we have grown a lot in these seven months. We must continue to improve and put the team above all. Honestly, I am very pleased to observe this”.

“I was a footballer and for this reason I know what happens in the changing room, for the players that are used to playing every game, for the players who are not playing a lot, for the players who are not playing”.

“The most important thing is always to have great respect for all, not only to pay most attention to 11 players. For me every single player is the most important. I try always to pay good attention to every single player, I want to give them great respect because I demand this and I think this is the way to have a good dressing room”.

“The best way is to leave your door always open and if I have to make a choice, it is not important to always explain this choice but if the player wants to ask me, the player knows very well that my door is always open to explain the reason why I made this decision. When you are honest in your choices you can always look your player straight in the eye”. 

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Chelsea wing-back Marcos Alonso explained how Blues‘ manager Antonio Conte tried to create ‘an amazing atmosphere’ in the backroom by organizing bonding activities even with John Terry‘s help.

The Spaniard told Chelsea’s official website: “We have been going out for dinner once a month all together as a group, just enjoying each other’s company off the pitch as well,” 

“It’s been a great help and the atmosphere within the squad is amazing. You can see that when we’re on the pitch.

“It’s organised by the manager and the captain and it’s good fun for everyone,” Alonso added.

 

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte will play John Terry in central defense against Wolverhampton, according to reports in England.

The Blues’ captain is fit despite missing last Premier League match at Burnley on Sunday due to an ankle injury and could replace David Luiz.

It is understood the Brazilian star is still recovering from a knee problem since December.

Terry featured against West Ham in the EFL Cup and in the FA Cup wins over Peterborough and Brentford in January.

 

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BURNLEY 

Manager: Sean Dyche

CHELSEACourtois; Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Cahill (c); Moses, Kante, Matic, Alonso; Pedro, Diego Costa, Hazard.

Substitutes: Begovic, Zouma, Ake, Chalobah, Fabregas, Willian, Batshuayi.

Manager: Antonio Conte

Venue: Turf Moor

Kick-Off: 1.30 PM BST

 

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte believes Hazard, Pedro and Willian have been crucial when he changed the system with a 3-4-3 formation in September.

“I tried to start with four at the back. – the Italian manager told Premier League ShowIn my mind this team could play with 4-2-4 and we tried a lot during pre-season to play with this system,”

“We started this season very well because we won three games in a row. Sometimes you can win but you can see it’s not right. Because in every game we conceded many chances to score to the opponent”.

“I tried to change the system. I tried first of all to give a good balance in my team. Don’t lose offensively, but to have a defensively situation more correct”.

Then Conte ended: “And there were players with this characteristics. When you have a good winger and a good number 10 – Hazard, Pedro, Willian – I knew in my head we can change, we can find this new system”.

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