Victory for Chelsea in Monday night’s Premier League clash with relegation-threatened Middlesbrough would leave the Blues just one win away from securing the 2016-17 English title.
Indeed, Tottenham Hotspur’s 1-0 defeat at London rivals West Ham United on Friday night has left Chelsea in a strong position at the summit, and a win over struggling Middlesbrough would see Antonio Conte’s side move seven points clear of Spurs at the top of the division.
The team news for the clash with Middlesbrough was announced shortly past 7pm, and N’Golo Kante was a glaring absentee, with the France international ruled out through injury.
Cesc Fabregas is a hugely popular figure with the Chelsea supporters, however, and the Spaniard’s spot in the XI brought an excited reaction from the fans on social media site Twitter.
Brazilian international David Luiz has also returned from injury to start alongside Cesar Azpilicueta and Gary Cahill in defence, whilst Diego Costa and Eden Hazard are both included as Conte takes no chances for the key fixture at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea team tonight: Courtois; Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Cahill (c); Moses, Fabregas, Matic, Alonso; Pedro, Diego Costa, Hazard. #CHEMID
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) May 8, 2017
@ChelseaFC We're gonna win the league.
— 2WO 5IVE (@RILEY25) May 8, 2017
@ChelseaFC We're gna win the league!!
— Sully (@SullyA96) May 8, 2017
@ChelseaFC 4-1 come on you blues ⚽️????
— IG: Jord_Daly (@jord_daly) May 8, 2017
@ChelseaFC 5-0 incoming. C'mon blues
— Waѕiyullah Budye (@WasiyullahB) May 8, 2017
— Christopher Patrick (@chrismp1993) May 8, 2017
@ChelseaFC Chelsea to rip Middlesbrough apart
— Tochukwu Okafor (@Tochii_O) May 8, 2017
@ChelseaFC Fabregas is starting.. I can watch this game stress free knowing he'll take care of everything ????
— rrrrrrr (@champagnesaraa) May 8, 2017
@ChelseaFC CESC FABREGAS EASY 3-0 WIN BOYS
— – (@rentboytrenzs_) May 8, 2017