Chelsea line to face Southampton: Morata dropped as Hazard returns in FA Cup semi-final

The FA Cup is the final chance for Chelsea to win some silverware this season and at least put a bit of gloss on what has been a slightly disappointing season across the other competitions.

With the top four Premier League spots maybe out of reach for the rest of the campaign, winning the FA Cup could be the first time Antonio Conte wins a cup competition as a manager and so he will go to the full strength of his squad.

Marcos Alonso is still suspended, but it is likely that Emerson Palmieri will not start the match and instead you could see Davide Zappacosta start the game in the left wing-back role.

Up front might be where the biggest decision will come, and Olivier Giroud’s performances might warrant a start for the Frenchman over Alvaro Morata, with Eden Hazard and Willian likely to come back into the side after being rested against Burnley on Thursday night.

At the same time, Cesc Fabregas will also likely be the man in the midfield next to N’Golo Kante, with Tiemoue Bakayoko taking his place back on the bench after his start at Turf Moor.

At the back, Thibaut Courtois will start in goal again with a potential trio of Andreas Christensen, Cesar Azpilicueta and Antonio Rudiger in front of him, and Gary Cahill could miss out.

Chelsea: Courtois, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger, Moses, Zappacosta, Fabregas, Kante, Willian, Hazard, Giroud.

Liverpool and Tottenham leave Chelsea cursing their mistakes

Since Chelsea conceded that soft goal to West Ham a couple of weeks ago to draw a game they should have won, the door has shut on them reaching the Champions League.

Forget the fact they lead against Tottenham a few weeks before that, it was that slip-up to let Chicharito score that could be a sliding doors moment in the near future of the club.

Since then, both Spurs and now Liverpool have dropped points, bringing Chelsea agonisingly close to catching them, but leaving them just short of what they need.

There’s sadly just no way that those two will drop enough points to let the Blues back in, even if Antonio Conte’s men somehow win their remaining games this season.

At the time the West Ham game felt like a dead rubber. Perhaps if we’d known then that our rivals were going to be so careless, we might have held on to that lead a little tighter.

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