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Conte to play his strongest lineup in Madrid


Chelsea will continue their Champions League group stage campaign with a trip to Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night. The game will be a repeat of the 2014 semi-final where Diego Costa was one of the scorers for Atleti in a 3-1 aggregate win. 

Despite the recent success, Atleti will be tested on their home turf after having switched to the new Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, where they will be making their European debut in midweek.

Formation: 3-4-2-1

Lineup:

Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has recovered from his minor head knock against Stoke City, and he is likely to retain his spot between the sticks.

David Luiz missed the Stoke game due to a domestic suspension, but he is likely to make his Champions League bow against Atleti on Wednesday night. The Brazilian was benched for the previous outing against Qarabag.

Apart from Luiz, there could be starts for Cesar Azpilicueta and Gary Cahill at the heart of the defence, although the latter came on as a second-half substitute at Stoke.

Davide Zappacosta is a strong candidate to start ahead of Victor Moses in the right wing-back whilst Marcos Alonso could keep his place at left wing-back after his early substitution over the weekend.

Tiemoue Bakayoko started alongside N’Golo Kante at the Bet365 Stadium on Saturday, but Conte could opt to replace the former with Cesc Fabregas, who has previous La Liga experience with Barcelona.

Eden Hazard has made just one start in the League Cup this season, and the Belgian will be desperate to play the full 90 minutes versus Atleti. With Hazard in the team, Conte will probably do away with Willian, who has been less of a goalscoring threat than Pedro.

Alvaro Morata is fresh from his first-ever Premier League hat-trick for Chelsea, and this will prove sufficient to start ahead of Michy Batshuayi, who himself has four goals in his previous two outings – against Nottingham Forest and Qarabag.

Chelsea (3-4-2-1): Courtois, Azpilicueta, Luiz, Cahill; Zappacosta, Alonso; Fabregas, Kante; Pedro, Hazard, Morata


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