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Chelsea team news: Rudiger in ahead of Christensen as Morata, Pedro & Hazard start

11:35 BST 21/10/2017
Antonio Rudiger
The Blues have put out an experienced line up to face Watford as they try to put themselves back above the Hornets in the league table

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has opted to start with Antonio Rudiger at centre-back, with Andreas Christensen dropping to the bench, against Watford.

Rudiger makes his first start since he played in the 1-0 defeat against Manchester City in September. Cesar Azpilicueta moved to right wing back that day and he will play in that position again on Saturday. 

David Luiz and Tiemoue Bakayoko passed late fitness tests to make the game despite picking up knocks against Watford. Chelsea will continue to line up in a 3-4-3 formation despite Conte admitting that the team has struggled for balance since N'Golo Kante sustained a hamstring injury. 

Thibaut Courtois makes his 100th appearance in the Premier League, while Pedro makes his first start for Chelsea since his side ran out 4-0 winners over Stoke City

In fact it is the first time Eden Hazard, Alvaro Morata and Pedro have started together for Chelsea. Ethan Ampadu will become Chelsea's youngest player to play in the Premier League if he comes off the bench. 

Chelsea starting XI: Courtois; Rudiger, David Luiz, Cahill; Azpilicueta, Bakayoko, Fabregas, Alonso; Pedro, Morata, Hazard.

Subs: Caballero, Christensen, Ampadu, Zappacosta, Musonda, Willian, Batshuayi.