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

09:43 EAT 19/04/2018
Olivier Giroud Premier League Team of the Week
It is looking like qualification for the Champions League is beyond the Blues as they prepare to meet Burnley

Chelsea have been boosted by a recent comeback win over Southampton at St Mary's Stadium, but they have broadly had a 2018 to forget as they look like they will fall short of Champions League qualification.

The Blues have only won four Premier League games since the turn of the year and they look likely to finish below Liverpool and Tottenham in the battle to finish in the top four.

They next travel to Burnley away, who have been one of the surprise packages of the Premier League this season as they sit in seventh place with the possibility to join Chelsea in the Europa League still alive for them.

Chelsea injuries

Davide Zappacosta returned from his tendon issue to start against Southampton on Saturday, but Antonio Rudiger was dropped from the squad after his recent comments to Sky where he appeared to be critical of his head coach.

However, it has since been denied by the German international that he was targeting any players or his manager with his comments.

David Luiz is likely to continue to miss out with a recurrence of the knee injury that he suffered last season in a high challenge with Sergio Aguero.

Ethan Ampadu is out for the season with an ankle injury that he sustained in the UEFA Youth League match against Real Madrid, while Ross Barkley has been playing with the Under-23s as he bids for long-term fitness. 

Conte was coy on his injury list ahead of games against Burnley and Southampton this week.

"Tomorrow you will see which are my decision about the starting eleven and we have two important games now," He said at Cobham Training Centre. "The first is against Burnley and the second the semi-final against Southampton.

"To play after only two and a half days is not simple to recover very well, but we have to try to do our best in these two competitions, in the league and then the FA Cup." 

Chelsea suspensions

Chelsea have no players suspended or any at risk of getting a ban through an accumulation of yellow cards. 

Chelsea potential starting line-up

Chelsea have a big week with an FA Cup semi-final on Sunday at Wembley following Thursday's match with Burnley. This might mean that Conte will be tempted to rest some of his star players with an FA Cup win likely to add gloss on what has been a poor season for the club.

However, Burnley themselves are only eight points behind Chelsea and a strong line up may be needed to get a result against Sean Dyche's side.

Olivier Giroud's amazing substitute performance saw him score twice against Southampton as Chelsea turned a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 win.

This might give Conte some food for thought as Alvaro Morata failed to make the same impact that the Frenchman did from the bench.

Conte also took the unusual step of naming Emerson Palmieri for tomorrow's game, it will be his first league start for the club.

Burnley team news

Scott Arfield is out with a calf injury and Ben Mee could miss the rest of the season with a shin injury. Georges-Kévin Nkoudou is battling to be fit to come back from a hamstring injury to face Chelsea.

Robbie Brady and Steven Defour have both had surgeries on their knee and have been out for a substantial period of time. Jonathan Walters has also been out with a knee injury and may return before the end of the season.

TV channel & kick-off time

The rescheduled match takes place at 19:45 GMT on Thursday and it will be shown live in the UK on Sky Sports. 

Best Opta match facts

  • Burnley won the reverse of this fixture on the opening weekend – their first top-flight victory over Chelsea since August 1973.

  • Chelsea haven’t lost both league meetings in a season against Burnley since the 1968-69 campaign.

  • The Clarets haven’t done the league double against the reigning top-flight champions since 1953-54, when they beat Arsenal home and away.

  • Cesc Fabregas has had a hand in three goals in his three Premier League appearances at Turf Moor, scoring once for Arsenal and providing two assists with Chelsea.

  • Alvaro Morata scored just 10 minutes into his Premier League debut against Burnley in the reverse fixture. He’s yet to score home and away against the same side in the competition.