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Having made a less than decent start to their Premier League campaign, English champions Chelsea have managed to claw their way back with two consecutive victories before going into the international break. Antonio Conte will hope that his side keep up the good work after the break but it will not be easy for his side that travels to the home of the former Champions.
Craig Shakespeare’s Leicester City welcome Chelsea to the King Power this weekend in what is expected to be a high-octane game between the winners of the previous two Premier League titles. The visitors will be confident after their recent performances but Conte has a few issues going into this game.
While Gary Cahill is still out suspended, Chelsea can call back Cesc Fabregas for this tie. But playmaker Eden Hazard is not expected to be fit enough to start this game. The manager should stick with a 3-4-3 formation, with his attack and defence already settled.
The likes of Antonio Rudiger and Alvaro Morata are two of the new signings that have settled in well at the club but one player who might not find it easy to walk into the first team is £35m summer arrival, Danny Drinkwater. The former Leicester City star joined Chelsea late in the transfer window and will have to face loads of competition before he can move into the first team at the Bridge. But with him facing his former side, is this the right time for the Blues to use him in the midfield?
Conte has used Cesc Fabregas and Tiemoue Bakayoko as partners for N’Golo Kante in the midfield while David Luiz has also put in a shift when needed. Drinkwater adds that mettle to the midfield that the side lost when they sold Nemanja Matic to Manchester United and there is no reason why he should not start this game.
Spanish midfielder Fabregas is not an option to last the whole game and will mostly be used as a super sub from the bench while Bakayoko is still young, and even younger in his English career, making it a risky call to field him. Kante is still going to be the most important player in the midfield for Chelsea but it might just be time for Conte to use Drinkwater already.
Drinkwater’s experience in England will give Bakayoko the time to settle in but more importantly, Danny’s time at the King Power will give Chelsea the edge in winning the midfield battle over the Foxes. Chelsea cannot afford to drop points this early in the season and Conte needs to make a decision quickly. Drinkwater, at the moment, seems like Conte’s best midfield option to partner Kante.