After a year out the champions of England, Chelsea returns to the biggest club competition in the world, the UEFA Champions League.
Antonio Conte’s side hasn’t been drawn the easiest group with Atletico Madrid and Roma sure to provide a tough test for the Blues.
Thankfully for them, their opening game in this year’s competition is against Azerbaijani side Qarabag FK.
Honestly, they should provide little to no test for Chelsea who are expected to win this game and win it comfortably on Tuesday evening.
A good start to the competition can give the squad a real boost going forward following a decent start in the league, forgetting their loss to Burnley, and a rough summer in the transfer market.
Chelsea’s squad depth will surely be an issue in the UCL this season but right now, with all their players fit, they have enough room to make some changes and rest a few players in what should be an easy game.
On that note, here is the starting XI that Conte needs to field for the club’s UCL return.
A Champions League finalist during his loan spell with Atletico Madrid, Thibaut Courtois is one of the best keepers in England and the world.
Chelsea don’t exactly have a huge amount of depth in this position so expect the 25-year-old to feature in most games for the club this season.
A series of quality performances last season quickly shut a lot of people up who thought Chelsea were crazy to re-sign the Brazilian defender.
Luiz was part of the Chelsea team that finally won the Champions League back in 2012 and he can play an equally important role in getting the Blues off to a good start this time around.
Andreas Christensen isn’t a name too many people would have been familiar last season but ever since he returned from his loan spell in Germany, the centre-back has put in a spell of good performances.
Aged just 21, this would be the perfect fixture for him to get some European experience in.
Seeing as Gary Cahill won’t be playing this weekend, due to his red card suspension, it makes sense to field the captain in the opening game of the UCL.
His leadership qualities can be put to good use as well with Christiensen by his side in Conte’s famed back-three.
The man who got Chelsea three points all by himself against Tottenham, Marcos Alonso has become a priceless player in the Chelsea ranks and one who can assert himself in both defence and attack.
People are running out of adjectives to describe how important N’Golo Kante is.
The French midfielder dominates the middle of the park and just doesn’t stop running.
This will be his debut in the competition too which seems crazy seeing as he already has two Premier League trophies to his name.
Kante’s work in the midfield gives an ageing Cesc Fabregas the freedom to be more creative going forward as opposed to having to worry about defensive duties.
A master passer of the ball and someone who can cut open most defences in Europe with one killer ball.
Who would’ve thought that Victor Moses would be lining up in a Champions League game for Chelsea most likely being one of the first names on the team sheet.
A key player in Chelsea’s Premier League triumph last year, Moses has been a player reborn in Conte’s system at Stamford Bridge.
Giving their opponents, it wouldn’t be too surprising to see Conte rest Eden Hazard especially given his recent fitness issues which kept him out of the Chelsea squad this season.
Willian can still do an excellent job in his place with his pace, power and technical abilities sure to give their opponent’s defence a tough day at the office upon Chelsea’s return to the competition.
The most experienced player in this team.
Pedro has three Champions League medals at his house and the memory of scoring against Manchester United in the 2011 final.
Yes, he was part of a phenomenal Barcelona side and that experience can certainly be put to good use this season.
Give Alvaro Morata a rest and give Michy Batshuayi another crack at being Chelsea’s main striker.
The Belgian forward hasn’t made the most of his opportunities this season and unfortunately scored the own goal against Tottenham that nearly cost Chelsea all three points.
The Blues’ opponents on Tuesday are considerably weaker though so the 23-year-old should have no problems starting this game.