14 Oct, 13:00
Defending Champions Chelsea will miss the services of midfielder N’Golo Kante and striker Alvaro Morata as they travel to Selhurst Park to take on struggling Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Chelsea were boosted by the return of Eden Hazard as they had to do without the Belgian for much of the new season as he worked his way back from an ankle injury. The 26 year old is now back and judging by his performance against Atletico, it is right to say he is nearly back to his best but unfortunately two more players are sidelined.
N’Golo Kante picked up a hamstring problem while on international duty with France that will likely see him miss all six of Chelsea’s games in October. Alvaro Morata, meanwhile, who dazzled when combining with Hazard in Madrid, limped out of the club’s last Premier League outing against Manchester City. Although there has been no official word, he is not expected to be available against Crystal Palace on Saturday.
With the duo sidelined, that leaves Conte without his stand-out players of the season so far. Since Kante left Leicester he has been producing outstanding performance while Morata has taken English football like proverbial duck to water.
Michy Batshuayi is expected to lead the line in the absence of Morata or alternatively Conte could use Eden Hazard as a false nine. If Hazard starts upfront, Pedro will be on the left wing and Willian on the right with Fabregas and Bakayoko playing in the middle, Alonso and Moses will play as wing backs. Cahill, Luiz and Azpilicueta will be the Blues’ back three.
Incase Batshuayi starts as Chelsea’s main striker, Hazard will switch to the left wing with Pedro on the right while Willian will drop to the bench. The Italian tactician could also try push Luiz to midfield, with Christensen playing at the central defense flanked by Azpilicueta on the right and Rudiger on his left.