Chelsea team news: Morata only makes the bench against Southampton

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The Spanish striker has returned to the fold after injury, but Eden Hazard will once again lead the line for the Blues in a 'false nine' role

Alvaro Morata has shaken off a back problem to return to the Chelsea squad, but has only made the bench for a meeting with Southampton.

The Spanish striker sat out a midweek victory over Huddersfield through injury and is not yet deemed fit enough to come into the starting XI.

Antonio Conte will, however, be pleased to have his 10-goal top scorer back in contention and ready to step in if required.

Chelsea starting XI v Southampton 161217

Willian and Pedro impressed in a 3-1 victory over the Terriers, with both among the goals, and they retain their places on the back of their respective displays.

Tiemoue Bakayoko also netted at the John Smith’s Stadium and has kept Cesc Fabregas and Danny Drinkwater among the substitutes.

Conte has shuffled his pack at the back, though, with important rotation at a busy time of the season seeing Gary Cahill and Antonio Rudiger trade places.

At the business end of the field, Eden Hazard will once again occupy a false nine role as he leads the line in place of Morata.

Chelsea: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Cahill; Moses, Kante, Bakayoko, Alonso; Willian, Hazard, Pedro.

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Subs: Caballero, Rudiger, Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Fabregas, Batshuayi, Morata.

Southampton: Forster, Cédric, Hoedt, Yoshida (c), Stephens, Bertrand, Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Hojbjerg, Redmond, Gabbiadini.

Subs: McCarthy, Davis, Lemina, Van Dijk, Tadic, Boufal, Austin.

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