After a relatively routine win on Wednesday night in the Champions League against Sporting Lisbon, Chelsea play their third game in a week at home to Hull City on Saturday afternoon. With the notoriously busy festive period rapidly approaching, Jose Mourinho stated in his pre-match press conference that rotation was a necessity over the coming weeks. There are two forced changes to the team that lost to Newcastle last Saturday, with Courtois picking up a muscular injury in training meaning Petr Cech is set to make his first start of the Premier League campaign. Cesc Fabregas follows Nemanja Matic in being suspended for one game after collecting 5 yellow cards this season, either Ramires or Mikel will deputise for the Spaniard. Andre Schurrle may believe he’s earned a Premier League start in one of the three midfield berths behind Diego Costa, after an impressive scoring display midweek.
It’s fair to say that Hull City have got off to a very slow start this season. With only two wins to their name, Hull find themselves in 18th place. History suggests that The Tigers will be in for a tough afternoon having failed to beat Chelsea in the Premier League as well as never winning at Stamford Bridge. However, Hull can be buoyed by performances at Arsenal and Liverpool away from home this season, taking a point from both.
Hull will be without joint top scorer Mohamed Diame for the clash whilst Robert Snodgrass is a long term absentee. Hull will be boosted by the probable return to the starting line up of Nikica Jelavic as well as on loan Gaston Ramirez. Steve Bruce has tinkered with tactics a lot this season, trying out a number of formations. It’s unlikely that Bruce will field both Abel Hernandez and Nikicia Jelavic given that they’re playing away from home so you can assume he will revert to a 3-5-1-1 formation with either of Hatem Ben Arfa or Gaston Ramirez playing off the lone striker.
With ‘The Invincible’s’ talk now done and dusted, Chelsea now have a mini weight lifted off their shoulders which was unnecessarily put there from outside voices. Chelsea must make the most of Hull’s recent poor form and put them to the sword early on.Probable lineups:
Chelsea: (4-2-3-1): Cech; Ivanovic, Terry, Cahill, Azpilicueta; Matic, Ramires; Willian, Oscar, Hazard; Costa.
Hull City: (3-5-1-1): McGregor; Dawson, Davies, Chester; Elmohamady Livermore, Huddlestone, Meyler, Robertson; Ramirez; Jelavic.