BBC Sport claim that Antonio Conte is preparing to rotate and rest some key players in tonight’s clash with West Ham in the EFL Cup at the London Stadium, with John Terry likely to return to first team action with what will be his first appearance since 11th September due to an ankle ligament injury. The captain is expected to replace one of Gary Cahill, David Luiz or Cesar Azpilicueta as Conte retains his effective formation.
It will be a relief for Terry to be back in action after the uplift in form, particularly of his central defensive competition, coincided with his return from injury and has kept him restricted to the bench. Undoubtedly the leader of this Blues side, he will now be looking to prove a point.
At the other end of his career is young striker Tammy Abraham, on loan at Bristol City, who continues to enjoy a fine run of form with 11 goals in 18 games despite their exit from the EFL Cup to Hull City last night. His prolific record has not gone unnoticed as Antonio Conte told the press, as quoted by Metro:
“Abraham is another young player, he’s the future for Chelsea, for sure. He’s very young I saw him only one week during the pre-season in America, there we decided to send him to play every game, to get experience, and then come back with us. Abraham has a great potential. I think the academy is working very well. Next season, I think now it’s important to look to the present.”
Having been called up to England under 21s and having scored on his debut, Abraham increasingly looks like a real talent and one for the future at Stamford Bridge. It remains to be seen if he will be given chances in the first team next season but Conte has given opportunities to a number of young players in recent weeks so the initial signs could be positive.
Someone who he may not be able to play alongside is Brazilian midfielder Oscar, as Calciomercato report that Juventus are keen to lure him from London to Turin with the 25-year-old not fitting into Conte’s new tactical set-up, having played just nine minutes over the last five matches for the club with him increasingly looking surplus to requirements for the London club.
It certainly seems realistic that Chelsea may look to cash in on the playmaker, with Juventus likely to make a sizeable offer for the midfielder, and it is hard to imagine Conte or Chelsea saying no if Oscar continues to warm the bench.
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