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Chelsea V West Ham: Confirmed Lineups, Fabregas Dropped

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 19: Manuel Lanzini of West Ham United goes past Jon Obi Mikel of Chelsea during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and West Ham at Stamford Bridge on March 19, 2016 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images)

Chelsea take on West Ham at Stamford Bridge tonight in the final game of the opening Premier League weekend.

The revolving door of Chelsea managers sees Antonio Conte in the hotseat for this season. The Italian has some breathing space insofar as this season cannot possibly be as bad as last year, going from champions to midtable in just a few short months, but he will still be expected to challenge for the title.

For tonight’s game, the big talking point is that Cesc Fabregas is not in Conte’s first starting lineup as Chelsea manager. The Spanish international has been linked with a move away from the club and this will do little to dampen that speculation.

Oscar, Nemanja Matic and new signing N’Golo Kanté make up the midfield. Diego Costa leads the line with Michy Batshuayi also starting from the bench. John Terry has recovered from a head injury to take his usual place in the centre of defence.

BREMEN, GERMANY - AUGUST 07: N'Golo Kante of Chelsea runs with the ball during the pre-season friendly match between Werder Bremen and FC Chelsea at Weserstadion on August 7, 2016 in Bremen, Germany. (Photo by Boris Streubel/Getty Images)

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic, meanwhile, is not afraid to throw a number of debutants in at the deep end at Stamford Bridge.

The arrival of a specialist left-back in Arthur Masuaku means that Sam Byram no longer has to deputise for the injured Aaron Cresswell in that area – he drops to the bench as the Frenchman takes over.

Midfielder Havard Nordtveit gets his first taste of Premier League action right from the start, while record signing André Ayew starts on the right wing.

Dimitri Payet starts on the bench as he is eased back into action following his Euro 2016 exploits with France.

STRATFORD, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04: Sofiane Feghouli of West Ham United takes a shot on goal as he is chased down by Kenan Horic of NK Domzale during the UEFA Europa League Qualification round match between West Ham United and NK Domzale at London Stadium on August 4, 2016 in Stratford, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Last Season: Chelsea 2 (Fabregas, 2) – West Ham 2 (Lanzini, Carroll)

Referee: Anthony Taylor

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.