Chelsea expected 3-4-3 v West Brom: Matic omitted
By Dominic Toner
Chelsea are set leave Nemanja Matic out of the starting line up against West Brom on Sunday.
The 28-year-old missed the club’s 3-1 victory against Manchester City through illness and is unlikely to be recalled after Cesc Fabergas’ performance.
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is expected to name an unchanged starting XI from the team that beat Man City, with Matic named on the bench on his return to the side.
The Blues are expected to win at home to West Brom and Conte may go with the more attack-minded Fabregas, than the defensively solid Matic.
Chelsea are currently on a eight-game winning run in the Premier League and Matic completed 90 minutes in each of the first seven, but Conte has now seen that he has other options in his competitive squad.
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West Brom will be optimistic of causing an upset as they have won three of their last four games.
Thibaut Courtois is expected to continue as the goalkeeper and has begun to find his best form again this season.
Chelsea’s three-man defence have been crucial this season and Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz and Gary Cahill are set to retain their places.
Full-backs Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso are likely to start once again, with Chelsea really benefiting from their pace and energy in the wide positions.
Fabregas is set to continue in the midfield and he will partner the energetic France international N’Golo Kante.
Chelsea are set to continue with the same attacking trio of Pedro, Diego Costa and Hazard after their impressive performances this season.
Brazilian midfielder Willian made a great impact off the bench against Man City and may consider himself a tad unfortunate to be benched, but Pedro has been in great form recently.
Hazard and Costa both scored against Man City, with the latter delivering a dominate second-half performance.
In other Chelsea team news, Ruud Gullit has delivered his verdict on the club’s defence.