Three points at West Brom tonight is all Chelsea boss Antonio Conte needs to seal the Premier League title in his first season as a manager in English football.
The Italian, who arrived in west London after guiding his country to the quarter-finals of the European Championships in France last summer, has performed the almost unthinkable with a side who finished tenth last season and dominated the League since before Christmas.
After closest rivals Tottenham choked at West Ham a week ago today, victory at The Hawthorns and the title will be heading to Stamford Bridge for the second time in three seasons.
With that in mind, you may think the PFA Player of the Year would be the first name on the team-sheet for such an important game. However, having missed the win over Middlesbrough with a thigh stain, N’Golo Kante is only named amongst the substitutes with Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic taking the two midfielder berths in Conte’s famous 3-4-3.
Blues fans were quick to comment on the change, and it seems they’re split down the middle, with some thinking Conte should have taken the risk:
— King_Kong (@MashininiNF) May 12, 2017
@ChelseaFC Kante on bench? Woah, bold move. Cmon Chelsea
— Kailash (@FakeTackler) May 12, 2017
@ChelseaFC Common chelsssea let’s finish this..But sad not to see Kante here,he deserved to celebrate today on the pitch
— Bolu Olaosebikan (@Iam_Bollux) May 12, 2017
Others, on the other hand, are delighted to see Fabregas in the starting XI:
@ChelseaFC Yeeeeees! It’s good cesc is starting cos they will make it tight and he holds the master key.
— Ibrahim Yakubu Azure (@Hummbleafrican) May 12, 2017
@ChelseaFC YEEESSS Another Cesc master class incoming
— Ryugo (@imryugo) May 12, 2017
@ChelseaFC Good team. Cesc and Matic deserve to start ahead of Kante after their performance vs Boro.
— Mr.BlueGuy (@ItsMrBlueGuy) May 12, 2017