Games between the two sides are always fiery, and given Chelsea’s recent disciplinary record, that spells bad news for the Blues.
However, Chelsea’s problems ahead of the game go far beyond a couple of suspensions. Their squad is threadbare as it is, and now Antonio Conte has delivered some bad news for the Blues ahead of the game.
Speaking in his pre-season press conference, Conte has revealed that Pedro is a doubt for the game having struggled to train without pain today (Friday).
Conte reports that Pedro trained today but felt pain in his ankle so is a doubt for this weekend's game. #CFC
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 18, 2017
This is, of course, a massive blow for Chelsea – given the lack of options available in the Blues’ attack. With Pedro likely unavailable, at least from the start, and Eden Hazard still lacking fitness, Willian is Chelsea’s only real option. The Brazilian is a top player, but he’ll struggle to handle offensive proceedings on his own.
Perhaps young Jeremie Boga could get a chance, whilst Charly Musonda may be in contention. Either way, Conte will have to try something different this weekend given his lack of options.
This is very bad news for the Blues. Pedro has been vital under Conte, and so to have him missing is a frustrating blow.
After a defeat on the opening day, the game is vitally important for Chelsea, and the fans in the Transfer Tavern are fearing that another loss could put Chelsea on a downwards spiral.
Still, with the news that Tiemoue Bakayoko could be back on contention to play alongside N’Golo Kante, there is still hope for the Blues.