Chelsea expected 3-4-3 v Man United: Injury news buoys Conte
By Will Butcher
Antonio Conte is expected to name an unchanged Chelsea side to face rivals Manchester United on Sunday at Old Trafford.
In a match that could prove pivotal at the top of the Premier League, Italian boss Conte has no injuries or suspension concerns going into the clash against Jose Mourinho’s side.
In contrast, Chelsea will be buoyed by United’s injury crisis that could see six of their first-team stars miss out, including the likes of Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and former Blues star Juan Mata.
Victor Moses returned to the side last time out against Bournemouth as Conte’s side secured a 3-1 away win, and he should start at right wing-back.
The impressive three-man defence of Gary Cahill, David Luiz and Cesar Azpilicueta is set to remain, while Diego Costa will be desperate to find the back of the net against his former manager.
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Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois will be looking to keep his 15th clean sheet of the season for Chelsea after Bournemouth’s Josh King scored a deflected effort last Saturday.
He will rely upon his three-man defence, who have gained plaudits from pundits for their work in Conte’s system with Cahill likely to challenge in the opposition box from set pieces.
Moses has rejuvenated his career under Conte and should start on the right, while Spanish star Marcos Alonso will be in hungry mood after scoring his fifth Chelsea goal from a free-kick last time out.
The continually impressive duo of Nemanja Matic and N’Golo Kante look set to start in the middle of the park, as they continue to compliment each other.
Fresh from being nominated for the Premier League’s player of the year award, Eden Hazard should partner Pedro and Costa in attack.
Chelsea will be keen to secure their 25th league win of the season to relieve some pressure, as Tottenham are likely to beat Bournemouth at White Hart Lane on Saturday.