Chelsea Team News: Injuries, suspensions and line-up vs Hull

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Everything you need to know ahead of the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge as the Blues host Hull City

Diego Costa has stolen the headlines for Chelsea this week as speculation mounts over his future, with the club officially stating that he missed last week's 3-0 win over Leicester City with a back injury. 

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Chelsea won't want to be without their leading scorer for too long, despite being seven points clear. But, even if their 28-year-old striker is unavailable, they are expected to beat Hull on Sunday.

Marco Silva has taken over as Hull manager since the two teams last met and he has won two out of his first three games as he prepares for a relegation dogfight at the bottom of the Premier League.

In Chelsea's last meeting with Hull, they beat them 2-0 at the KCOM Stadium thanks to goals from Willian and Costa.


CHELSEA INJURIES


Chelsea will be waiting to see how the Costa situation develops but Goal understands that he has returned to training. Antonio Conte was unhappy with his striker last week after his reaction to the club receiving an offer from Chinese Super League club Tianjin Quanjian.

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Meanwhile, Chelsea have no other injuries and have a full squad available to face Hull, unless any new injuries develop on Saturday ahead of the game. Nathan Ake could be in line to make his first appearance since rejoining his parent club early, from a loan deal with AFC Bournemouth. 

His early recall was due to the good form he showed while on loan as Chelsea struggled to sign anyone new in January. Like Ake, Charly Musonda and Kenedy have come back from their loan moves, but they are not yet registered to play in the Premier League as Conte waits to see if he will send them out on temporary moves once again. 

Conte confirmed the good health of his squad on Friday afternoon: "This week we have all our players available. Unless something happens tomorrow, I don't want to lie."

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CHELSEA SUSPENSIONS


John Terry was recently sent off in Chelsea's 4-1 win over Peterborough United and has served his suspension after it was upheld, despite an appeal from the west London club.

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The club's captain will return to the squad to face Hull, but is unlikely to start the game, unless Gary Cahill, David Luiz or Cesar Azpilicueta develop an injury during the week. He received only a one-game suspension for his red card offense as it was a professional foul. 

As we enter the New Year, the rules alter slightly regarding suspensions for an accumulation of yellow cards, with 10 bookings now being required to get a ban. Pedro is the closest player to Chelsea's next suspension as he moves to six bookings picked up in league and cup competition.  


CHELSEA POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UP


Conte made huge changes for his cup match against League 1 side Peterborough, but returned to his tried and tested line up against Leicester City despite his side's recent defeat to Tottenham. 

Chelsea recorded an incredible 13-match winning streak as they played in a 3-4-3 formation, and their success was aided by Conte keeping his squad rotation to a minimum. Diego Costa will return, if issues between him and Conte are resolved and he will likely replace Willian from last week's starting line up. 

Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic will also battle it out in the centre of midfield, with N'Golo Kante expected to start as one of the two in the middle. 


HULL CITY DOSSIER


While Chelsea are faced with relatively few injury concerns, Hull are faced with a swathe of problems including long term issues for Will Keane, Markus Henriksen, Alex Bruce and Greg Luer.

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Dieumerci Mbokani and Ahmed Elmohamady are playing at the African Cup of Nations, while Shaun Maloney and David Meyler are expected to make their comebacks. 

Hull have no issues with suspensions and Sam Clucas being the team's most booked player this season, with six bookings, as players now need 10 yellow cards to earn a suspension for an accumulation of bookings.

Snodgrass Hull City Southampton

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