Conte’s marauding trio could face the Foxes

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Willian of Chelsea celebrates scoring. PICTURE: GETTY IMAGES


Tim Harrison

By Tim Harrison

Leicester City’s scouts, watching Chelsea beat stuttering Crystal Palace, might reckon they’ve sussed the Blues’ approach to the looming FA Cup quarter-final match.

But while using Olivier Giroud as a target man was effective against the Eagles (and he was unlucky not to score - striking the post and having another shot cleared off the line), Tony Conte is having alternative thoughts.

He now seems more likely to counter pace with pace, and put his marauding trio of Eden Hazard, Pedro and Willian up front against the Foxes.

Willian’s purple patch continues. Chelsea would be looking at mid-table mediocrity without his performances this year; he shines when too many others merely turn up.

The cup game, live on BBC 1, promises to be a close affair in the wake of Chelsea’s Champions League jaunt to Spain, especially as Leicester comfortably overcame West Brom at the weekend, with Jamie Vardy scoring a remarkable one-touch goal.

The Blues believe that the FA Cup offers a realistic hope of glory in this curious, fractured season, and are delighted with the return to the side of captain Gary Cahill at the left of the three-man defence.

Of more concern to Conte are the errors which have crept into Andreas Christensen’s game; his dependability melting like ice creams in the Stamford Bridge press lounge; a stadium now emblazoned with the slogan, Thrilling Since 1905.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and unless specifically stated are not necessarily those of Hammersmith & Fulham Council.

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