Friday, 17 November 2017

WBA vs Chelsea: early preview


Much has been made of Conte's future at Chelsea, but witnessing his side battle their way to a 1-0 win over United before the international break may just help the Italian turn the corner at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues are nine points off the pace in the Premier League, but the response to a 3-0 defeat to Roma in the Champions League suggests that the squad are still pulling in the right direction.

David Luiz is likely to remain on the fringes of the squad this weekend, but the emergence of Andreas Christensen has not left a huge hole at the back with the Dane now having made an impression against each of Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and United.

Further forward, Alvaro Morata also appears to have got his form back, with his decisive header against Jose Mourinho's men ending a run of over 400 minutes without a goal.

Saturday's trip to West Brom marks the start of a testing period for Chelsea, with trips to Qarabag and Liverpool also to come in the next seven days, but Conte must find a way of rotating his players while still picking up results which could ultimately make or break their season.

A successful defence of their league crown looks unlikely - even at this stage of the season - but Chelsea must put themselves in position to capitalise on any mistakes from the two Manchester clubs and Spurs if speculation over Conte's longevity in West London is going to disappear.

Recent form: WLLWWW

Recent form (all competitions): DWWWLW

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