Chelsea Team News: Injuries, suspensions & line-up vs Southampton

Chelsea are quickly back in action after their 4-2 FA Cup semi-final win over Tottenham at Wembley Stadium as they face a huge match with Southampton who visit west London on Tuesday.

Manchester United beat Chelsea in their last league match, but the win in the FA Cup could boost the side that was looking like they were beginning to struggle in the league.

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Southampton were well beaten by Manchester City last time out, but they have had more time to prepare for the league clash that had to be rescheduled due to Chelsea's success in the cup.

CHELSEA INJURIES

Gary Cahill is doubtful for Chelsea's clash at Stamford Bridge. He was rushed to hospital last week after suffering from a bad virus and Nathan Ake will likely continue to play in his place, if he is unable to recover. Conte gave an update on Cahill's condition at his pre-match press conference.

“Gary, yesterday, trained with us and also today," Conte said. "It's normal to check his condition and, also, I want to speak very well with him tomorrow before taking the decision (as to whether he plays).

"But, in this case, I'm very happy if he's able to play tomorrow. But also I want to underline the performance of Ake. I was pleased for his performance. He played a really good game and he's very important for us.”

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Thibaut Courtois made his return from an ankle injury that he sustained in a commercial video shoot for the NBA against Tottenham. Marcos Alonso returned from his illness too, after the pair both missed out in the 2-0 defeat to Manchester United.

David Luiz requires ongoing treatment for a knee injury, while Cesar Azpilicueta has played on with a broken bone in his hand in recent weeks, but neither injury has caused the key defenders to miss any of their team's most important matches.

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CHELSEA SUSPENSIONS

Chelsea have no players suspended for the match and have had few issues with discipline all season. John Terry has been their only player to be sent off, in the FA Cup against Peterborough United.

The cut-off points for accumulations of 10 yellow cards passed two weeks ago and Chelsea avoided any of their players being banned. Costa reached 10 bookings after the cut-off point.

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CHELSEA POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UP

Conte sprung a surprise on Tottenham at the weekend by resting Eden Hazard and Diego Costa, as he used Michy Batshuayi and Willian instead. It was one of his most surprising Chelsea line-ups of the season, as he uncharacteristically rotated his team.

Batshuayi hadn't started since January while Ake, who also came in, hadn't started for Chelsea since February. Conte will likely put as strong of a line-up out as possible against Southampton and stick with his 3-4-3 formation.

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Costa and Hazard will start, while Cahill may return if he recovers in time. Cesc Fabregas may also step into the side to keep the team fresh, with Everton also coming up on Sunday.

Nemanja Matic and Fabregas have competed for a spot in central midfielder all season, while Willian and Pedro have been battling over the right forward position. Conte has used the same core of 14 players all season and any changes for Southampton will be minor tweaks rather than radical overhauls.

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SOUTHAMPTON TEAM NEWS

Virgil van Dijk remains Southampton's most notable absentee after picking up an ankle injury in January that has seen him out for most of the season.

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Charlie Austin is in a race to return to full fitness before the clash after suffering a problem with his shoulder. Matt Targett is also out with a hamstring injury.

Southampton face few other injuries, apart from their number two goalkeeper Alex McCarthy, who also has hurt his hamstring. Manolo Gabbiadini returned from injury against Manchester City after his incredible run of goals since signing for the club.

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BEST OPTA MATCH FACTS

  • Costa is now on a five-match run without a goal in the Premier League; his longest goalless streak in league competition since a six-game run between December 2012 and January 2013 in the Spanish Liga with Atlético de Madrid.

  • The only previous occasion that Antonio Conte has lost three top-flight league matches as a manager in the same month was in November 2009 for Atalanta.

  • Eden Hazard has been involved in 14 goals in his last 17 Premier League appearances at Stamford Bridge for Chelsea (11 goals, three assists).

TV COVERAGE & KICK-OFF TIME

The game is being shown at 19.45 on Sky Sports 1 live in the UK on Tuesday night.

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