Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has taken a big call to drop both Eden Hazard and Diego Costa to the bench for today’s FA Cup semi-final clash against Tottenham Hotspur.
Hazard had been training with a strapping on his right knee, and this may be a potential reason for his drop to the bench while Diego Costa has looked far from his best form in recent weeks.
Football Pundit Gary Lineker does have a different view on the decision as he feels both are being given adequate rest ahead of the crunch Premier League clash against Southampton on Tuesday night.
Rumour has it that Chelsea are resting Hazard and Costa. 😳
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) April 22, 2017
The Blues currently hold a four-point lead over London rivals Spurs in the top flight following disappointing defeats versus Crystal Palace and Manchester United, and this may have urged Conte to focus on the domestic competition.
It will be interesting to see whether the pair do appear late on in the game, but their absence from the off is likely to provide a significant advantage to Spurs, who are in red-hot form in front of goal.
The only other surprise would be Kurt Zouma, who has been dropped in place of Nathan Ake to occupy the left side of the back three. Gary Cahill is unfit for the clash after a kidney stone treatment.
Chelsea starting XI (3-4-3): Courtois; Azpilicueta (c), David Luiz, Ake; Moses, Kante, Matic, Alonso; Willian, Batshuayi, Pedro