?Chelsea welcome Southampton to Stamford Bridge on Saturday, keen to build on their midweek victory at Huddersfield.
The Blues are hot on the heels of second placed Manchester United, and know a win is imperative if they are to have any chance of putting any pressure on runaway leaders Manchester City.
Antonio Conte has fitness concerns over star striker Alvaro Morata, while David Luiz will again not be involved. The Italian may well opt to rotate his players as his side play their third league fixture in a week. Here is how Chelsea may choose to lineup on Saturday…
?Thibaut Courtois is Chelsea’s undisputed number one, and looks set to maintain his ever-present record in the Blues goal this season.
?Antonio Conte may opt to recall skipper Gary Cahill, after the defender was on the bench for the midweek win away at Huddersfield.
The club captain recently returned from injury, and started the Champions League game against Atletico Madrid eleven days ago, as he continues building towards full fitness.
Antonio Rudiger may well drop to the bench as Conte attempts to rotate his players ahead of a busy festive schedule.
?The Blues are blessed with midfield options heading into this fixture. Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso started the game in midweek at the John Smith’s stadium, but may make way for Davide Zappacosta, and the relocated Pedro.
Danny Drinkwater was ill in midweek, but is likely to return to the match day squad. N’Golo Kante and Tiemoue Bakayoko could partner up again in central midfield.
?Leading marksman Alvaro Morata missed Tuesday’s outing with a back problem, but may find himself back in contention.
Boss Antonio Conte is unlikely to risk the forward though from the start, and again may opt to field Eden Hazard alongside Willian, and the potentially recalled Cesc Fabregas.
Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi has only 215 minutes of Premier League football under his belt this campaign, but again looks destined to be overlooked with a rumoured exit in January on the horizon.