Chelsea & the Champions League
If Chelsea don’t beat Azerbaijani minnows Qarabag on Tuesday night it will be a major shock.
Yes, Burnley have already claimed a shock result at Stamford Bridge this season, but a few weeks later that result feels like an aberration.
Since the Burnley setback, Chelsea have won three games on the bounce. That’s included wins over Tottenham (a), Everton (h) and Leicester (a).
While no-one expects Chelsea to arrive to the Qarabag overly confident and without focus, the match against one of the weakest teams in the UCL is set to allow Antonio Conte to shuffle his troops.
That’s bad news for Arsenal.
Alvaro Morata & Eden Hazard
The Times on Tuesday look into how Conte may set up his side against Qarabag.
Alvaro Morata has started his Premier League career on fire. Indeed, for club and country already this season, Morata has scored 5 goals in 4 games.
He’s also chalked up four assists in that time as well.
Eden Hazard, meanwhile, made his first appearance of the Premier League season last weekend at Leicester.
Hazard has also played for Chelsea’s under-23s and for Belgium in recent weeks.
Yet, according to the Times, both Morata and Hazard will likely miss the midweek Champions League fixture. Readers are told:
Arsenal are Chelsea’s next opponents in the league and Conte strongly hinted that he will rest Álvaro Morata and Eden Hazard for this evening’s tie with Qarabag.
“I think he [Hazard] needs a bit more time to continue to improve and to not take stupid risks,” Conte said. “Now he’s available and will be on the bench.”
It was also revealed on Monday that Chelsea’s new signing Danny Drinkwater has picked up a hamstring problem.
That means the former Leicester midfielder will have to wait a little longer to make his Blues debut.
As for Arsenal, meanwhile, the Gunners face Cologne in the Europa League on Thursday night before they face reigning EPL champs at the weekend.