Fabregas axed in Conte 3-4-3: Chelsea best possible XI v Swansea
By Dominic Toner
Nemanja Matic should replace Cesc Fabregas in Chelsea’s starting line-up against Tottenham.
Antonio Conte’s side travel to White Hart Lane on Wednesday night for a Premier League clash and they should make just one change to their starting XI.
Matic should be recalled to the side in place of Fabregas to give Chelsea a more competitive edge in midfield, while also helping to screen the defence.
Fabregas has rightfully been involved in Chelsea’s side during games against lesser opponents and has three assists in his last two games, but he is unlikely to have as much space to dictate play against Spurs.
The match is set to be played at a high tempo and Matic is a better option to begin the match, with Fabregas perfect to come off the bench when players are more tired.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
Willian should retain his place in the side after his two goals in the 4-2 win over Stoke in the last match, meaning that Pedro is unfortunately left out as he returns from a one-game suspension.
Chelsea should keep a familiar defensive set-up as Thibaut Courtois keeps his place of the goalkeeper and is protected by the Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz and Gary Cahill.
Conte does have emerging youngster Kurt Zouma on his bench and John Terry to return from injury, but he can’t separate what has been a formidable defence in recent months.
Chelsea will set a Premier League record of 14 consecutive victories if they beat Spurs and their defence has been crucial to the success.
Energetic wing-backs Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso should keep their places and will need to be prepared to deal with Spurs’ wingers.
Matic and N’Golo Kante would offer the correct defensive balance in midfield and Fabregas could be waiting to make an impact from the bench.
Chelsea’s attackers should remain the same and Diego Costa will will be looking for his 15th Premier League goal of the season against Spurs.
Eden Hazard and Willian should play alongside Costa and give the Blues a great attacking threat.
In other Chelsea team news, Michael Owen has given his prediction ahead of the club’s upcoming game against Spurs.