28-year-old axed in five changes: Chelsea best possible XI to face Chelsea
COMMENT By Dominic Toner
Diego Costa should be among five players axed from Chelsea’s starting line-up for Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final clash against Tottenham.
The 28-year-old has scored just four goals so far in 2017 and looks extremely out-of-form right now.
Antonio Conte should make five alterations to his side from the team that lost 2-0 to Manchester United in the Premier League.
Thibaut Courtois and Marcos Alonso were both injured against United, but should both come back into the side at the expense of Asmir Begovic and Kurt Zouma against Spurs.
Meanwhile, Gary Cahill is a doubt for the FA Cup showdown and should be replaced by club captain John Terry in the starting XI, who recently announced he is leaving Stamford Bridge at the end of the season.
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Conte should bring in Willian for attacker Pedro, who is without a goal in his last six games.
That leaves £33million signing Michy Batshuayi with a chance to impress in attack, while Costa is dropped to the bench after his poor form recently.
Chelsea’s number one goalkeeper Courtois should return in the starting XI and look to keep a deadly Spurs attack quiet.
Club captain Terry should be able to slot into the three-man defence and his experience could prove vital at Wembley, with David Luiz and Cesar Azpilicueta alongside him.
The Blues should restore Alonso the line-up and his absence was a notable blow to the side in the defeat to United at Old Trafford.
Victor Moses is the best choice in the right wing-back position and he should be able to get at Spurs’ Ben Davies.
Meanwhile, workhorse midfielders N’Golo Kante and Nemanja Matic must retain their places, but must be prepared for a difficult test against Mousa Dembele and Victor Wanyama.
That leaves a new attacking line-up who will be desperate to prove themselves to Italian boss Conte.
Chelsea talisman Eden Hazard should retain his place and look to continue his good form, while Batshuayi and Willian deserve their chance to start.
In other Chelsea team news, Paul Merson has predicted the clash against Spurs.