Chelsea kick of their Premier League title defense against Burnley on Saturday but will be lining up without several of their stars.
Eden Hazard is out with a long term knee injury while Tiemoue Bakayoko is another long term absentee with similar problem following surgery this summer.
Pedro was confirmed injured by Chelsea manager Antonio Conte during his first press conference of the new season.
I will try to predeict Conte’s line-up against the Clarets.
Goalkeeper: Thibaut Courtois
The goalkeeper will be Conte’s safest pair of hands this season and is expected to keep the post for most games this season although there are many games to go around, with Champions League football returning to the Bridge. Willy Caballero has been signed as back up but the Belgian shot stopper will prove the main man for Conte.
Right Wing Back: Cezar Azpilicueta
WITH Victor Moses out of the game against Burnley, Conte is likely to start Cezar Azpilicueta in the right wing back position. The Spanish defender is versatile enough and has flourished in several positions in the back four. He will likely be shifted to the right in his first Premier League game as Chelsea’s official vice-captain.
Right Center Back: Antonio Rudiger
The new comer this summer will have the opportunity to impress Chelsea fans and ultimately the manager with a starting berth on the right of the three-man defense. He will replace Azpilicueta who will moved to right wing back. Rudiger has moved from Roma to the England top flight and will be keen to impress in his first season.
Center Back: David Luiz
One of Chelsea’s better players last season, David Luiz will slot easily into Conte’s first team this season and is likely to produce more inspiring performances as he did in the past.
Left Center Back: Gary Cahill
The new Chelsea captain will be thrown right into the thick of things to start his legacy and lead from the back as Chelsea kick off against Burnley. The Clarets’ attack will not test Cahill as much, and his goal mouth threat will be another weapon for Conte to rely on.
Left Wing Back: Marcos Alonso
The Spanish left full back has impressed most Premier League enthusiasts including his doubters last summer, after he moved to Chelsea. He has been a revelation with his goals and forward movements in helping the attack and will be once more counted on by Chelsea’s Italian manager.
Central Midfield: N’Golo Kante
His PFA Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year awards last season goes to say how important he is to Conte this season. Enough said!
Central Midfield: Cesc Fabregas
Conte has said time and again this summer how important Fabregas will be this season and his words have been backed up by the number of times the Spanish play maker has started games this off season. HE will be a sure starter beside Kante until Bakayoko returns from injury. Then Conte’s headaches will start.
Right Winger: Willian
Pedro was trusted by Conte mostly last season ahead of Willian but it looks the Brazilian is a new born with convincing performances this summer. With Hazard and Pedro out, expect to see Willian on the right of attack.
Left Winger: Alvaro Morata
The former Real Madrid attacker who moved to Chelsea in a club record £70 million deal will likely start on the left of attack as he did against Inter Milan in pre season. He will most likely have a better influence in the game than he dis in previous games as a Chelsea player, as Conte revealed he is getting better in understanding the teams demands.
Striker: Michy Batshuayi
The Belgian has impressed in Chelsea pre season games this off season as Chelsea seek to answer the questions left behind by Diego Costa’s departure. Batshuayi is a sure starter until Morata is trusted fully by Chelsea’s technical handlers to start games upfront and will lead the attack against Burnley.