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jones   
13 hours ago, Sleeping Dave said:

So... Who's back? I suppose that Fabregas and Pedro will be back in the fold? Cahill still suspended and Hazard still out. 

(343) Courtois; Azpilicueta, Luiz, Christensen; Moses, Fabregas, Kante, Alonso; Willian, Morata, Pedro

Subs: Caballero, Rudiger, Tomori, Bakayoko, Scott, Musonda Jr., Batshuayi

The above is what I'd pick but I think that Conte will go with Rudiger instead of Christensen. 

Yeah, it is going to be Christensen vs Rüdiger and Fabregas vs Bakayoko. Rest of the team picks itself.

Think it will be Rüdiger because of experience (read: price tag) and Fabregas, as their 5 man defence proved successful against City.

 

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9 minutes ago, jones said:

Yeah, it is going to be Christensen vs Rüdiger and Fabregas vs Bakayoko. Rest of the team picks itself.

Think it will be Rüdiger because of experience (read: price tag) and Fabregas, as their 5 man defence proved successful against City.

 

But aren't we repeatedly told Conte doesn't pick players based on their price tag;) 

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Courtois

Azpilicueta
Luiz
Rudiger

Moses
Fabregas
Kante
Alonso

Pedro
Morata
Willian

Subs, Caballero, Christensen, Tomori, Bakayoko, Scott, Musonda, Batshuayi

I think Hazard could potentially be fit enough for the bench, but expect Conte to keep him out of the squad to help try and prevent Belgium calling him up - which I fully expect them to do anyway.

I don't think Bakayoko is in good enough shape to face this Everton side yet, they've had a few more competitive matches than us so will be sharper and fitter than us. I think Fabregas as 1 of the 2 will be fine with the back 5 we'll have in place - possibly if Pedro isn't fit enough to start then Bakayoko might have to be risked and come in to the middle 2 and Fabregas pushes forward as one of the front 3.

Tricky game this one, but we're closer to our strongest 11 and at home so I'm hopeful of a win - 2-1.

Edited by My Blood Is Blue

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Rob B   

Hazard played 90 minutes a week ago (a week and a half by the time Sunday comes around) so would be really surprised if he isn't on the bench.  Afterall, he can only get match fit with actual game time now. 

I think the Baka v Fab debate, along with Rudiger v Christensen (+ Cahill when he's back) are the main debates we'll be having all season on team selection, predominantly because as it stands, the rest of the side pretty much picks itself.

This is what I think Conte will pick:

Courtois;  Azpi, Luiz, Rudiger, Moses, Kante, Fabregas, Alonso;  Willian, Morata, Pedro

Subs: Willy, Christensen, Tomori, Bakayoko, Musonda, Hazard, Bats

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paulw66   
2 hours ago, Rob B said:

Courtois;  Azpi, Luiz, Rudiger, Moses, Kante, Fabregas, Alonso;  Willian, Morata, Pedro

Subs: Willy, Christensen, Tomori, Bakayoko, Musonda, Hazard, Bats

At last, some sub options of substance 

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4 hours ago, Rob B said:

Hazard played 90 minutes a week ago (a week and a half by the time Sunday comes around) so would be really surprised if he isn't on the bench.  Afterall, he can only get match fit with actual game time now. 

Yes - so long as the practice match was just for our benefit.  Daren't say anymore.

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Sciatika   

With the international break coming up, I doubt Conte will want to announce his availability by putting him on the bench.

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xCELERYx   
9 hours ago, Sciatika said:

With the international break coming up, I doubt Conte will want to announce his availability by putting him on the bench.

Can we refuse to release him for International duty even if we do name him in the squad? 

Don't think we will anyway, no point in risking him at this stage. 

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3 hours ago, xCELERYx said:

Can we refuse to release him for International duty even if we do name him in the squad? 

Don't think we will anyway, no point in risking him at this stage. 

I don't think that we can, I think we can politely ask Eden to drop out, but no guarantee he will do that.

My guess is, he won't be risked for the first team squad for this game because we won't want to risk it and also to try and stop Belgium calling him up and if they still do call him up, our medical team will be doing everything to prove he isn't fit to play - which I think is very sensible on our part.

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The Hazard selection is a tricky one. He's probably ready to get at least 20 minutes, but as mentioned do we then risk him being called up by Belgium? It's pretty ridiculous that we have to shield our biggest asset out of fear of him being called up. Interesting to see how we play it. 

Don't see why Bakayoko won't start this one, seeing as he got 90 minutes under his belt and another week of training. Conte will want to get him match fit and the only way to do that is to give him games. Plus Fabregas remains a very potent option off the bench. 

Pedro, too, got some time in the last match and with another week of training should be good to start. Can actually see Cesc replacing Pedro in the second half.

Fully expect us to return to 3-4-3 for this, with the only question being Rudiger or Christensen. I'd go with the latter but I reckon Conte will go with the former.

Everton, as they did against city, will lineup in a 3-4-3 themselves. I know they're further along in their fitness but they were forced to field a number of starters in their EL game last night, which should hopefully lead to a few weary legs. It might take until the second half for them to drop off.

With all that in mind, I expect Conte to go with:

Courtois; Azpi, Luiz, Rudiger; Moses, Kante, Bakayoko, Alonso; Willian, Morata, Pedro

Subs: Cabellero, Christensen, Kenedy, Fabregas, Boga/Hazard, Musonda, Michy

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