By Emma Sanders
Diego Costa and Eden Hazard are expected to start for Chelsea against Middlesbrough despite picking up knocks while on international duty.
Antonio Conte insists he has a full squad to choose from as the Blues hope to carry on their impressive form on the back of an eyecatching 5-0 victory against Everton prior to the international break when the performance was even more impressive than the result.
Chelsea are expected to line up with the same starting XI after Conte confirmed Costa would be in the squad following his withdrawal from the Spain squad due to a minor injury problem.
Costa has been involved in more Premier League goals than any other player in the league this season, netting nine and assisting three.
Hazard will accompany him in attack after being named the Premier League player of the month and is likely to be joined in the in-form front three by Pedro, who has scored two goals and grabbed five assists in five starts this season.
This means that attacking duo Oscar and Willian will once again have to settle for places on the substitute’s bench.
The familiar faces of N’Golo Kane and Nemanja Matic are likely to feature in midfield in the deep-lying roles while Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses should feature on the wings for Chelsea.
The Blues have not conceded a goal in the league since losing 3-0 against Arsenal at the Emirates in September and will likely line-up with the same defensive back three of Gary Cahill, David Luiz and Cesar Azpilicueta.
In other Chelsea news, the club are considering a January loan move for this midfield rising star.