Date: 11th December 2017 at 10:43pm
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Following Saturday`s defeat at West Ham, there`s no let up in the schedule as Chelsea travel up north to take on Huddersfield Town. Whilst trying to put the weekend`s performance behind them and focus on another game, Chelsea are likely to be rotated once again by Antonio Conte.

So far this season Chelsea have played 16 Premier League games, 6 Champions League games and 2 EFL (Carabao) Cup games, a total of 2,160 minutes playing time. With all the talk of tiredness, I thought it would be worth looking at the numbers.

The main of Chelsea`s playing squad are listed below along with their total minutes played across the three competitions.

Thibaut Courtois 1,980 mins
Cesar Azpilicueta 1,875 mins
Marcos Alonso 1,770 mins
Cesc Fabregas 1,743 mins
Alvaro Morata 1,530 mins
N`golo Kante 1,475 mins
Gary Cahill 1,473 mins
Tiemoue Bakayoko 1,437 mins
Eden Hazard 1,341 mins
Antonio Rudiger 1,312 mins
Andreas Christensen 1,309 mins
Willian 1,055 mins
David Luiz 1,044 mins
Davide Zappacosta 1,034 mins
Pedro 953 mins
Victor Moses 793 mins
Michy Batshuayi 493 mins
Danny Drinkwater 313 minutes


The one thing that strikes me looking at that list is the under use of Pedro. With Conte switching to a 3-5-1-1(2) formation this season, Pedro and Willian to a degree have found themselves out in the cold.

If it`s true the players are fatigued, I`m not massively convinced they should be or are, but if they are, why not use Pedro or Willian more. I hear you shouting about Willian, but I would argue that he is a trier, and occasionally a match winner.

With Conte having no faith whatsoever in Michy Batshuayi, as his appearance last week for the development squad would indicate, why not play Eden Hazard as a loan striker, reverting back to a 3-4-3 formation that worked so well last season. I`m not saying for every game, but there are certain games that it could be utilised to give Morata and one of the midfielders a proper rest, if that`s what they need.

Hazard`s best games this season (scoring wise) have come as a secondary striker to Morata, so why not take the next step. It may well be that the Italian is trying to do just that, maybe he`ll develop as Cristiano Ronaldo did. There`s also the possibility of moving Victor Moses up to a more forward attacking role and leaving Davide Zappacosta as right wing back. He`s played there before.

As an example tomorrow`s game could see a line up like,

Courtois (GK)

Rudiger (Left CB)
Christensen (Centre CB)
Azpilicueta (Right CB)

Alonso (Left WB)
Kante (CM)
Fabregas (CM)
Zappacosta (Right WB)

Pedro (Left AM)
Moses (Right AM)
Hazard (ST)


It`s just an idea, Conte knows infinitely more about formations and lineups than I`ll ever know, but I do think he could be a bit more flexible in his use of some of his squad. But, whoever he plays tomorrow, let`s hope they can get a win.

 

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