The Blues regarded well-placed to wrap up a spot in Europe’s elite competitors, despite the fact that their hopes of clinching the Premier League title have been all however extinguished.
And the appointment of Antonio Conte has helped galvanised Spurs from their early-season hunch.
It is Conte’s return to Stamford Bridge that gives an attention-grabbing sub-plot to Sunday’s derby conflict.
The Italian guided the Blues to a record-breaking title triumph in his first season in cost and FA Cup glory the yr after earlier than he left the Londoners.
With Conte and Chelsea set for a reunion, Mirror Soccer takes a glance again on the closing Blues staff that Conte named earlier than he left the membership after the 2018 FA Cup closing…
Thibaut Courtois established himself as one of many most interesting shot-stoppers in England in the course of the 4 years that he was first-choice at Stamford Bridge, earlier than he departed the membership for a dream transfer to Real Madrid shortly after Conte’s exit.
The Belgian was an imperious presence for Conte all through his profitable stint in west London and missed only a handful of Premier League video games underneath the ex-Inter Milan chief.
Within the 2016/17 season, the place the Blues surged to the title, racking up a file 93 factors within the course of, Courtois loved the season of his life.
He stored 14 clear sheets and received the Premier League’s coveted Golden Glove award to go together with his Premier League winners medal.
After stating a want to maneuver overseas to be nearer to his kids, Courtois joined Actual Madrid simply weeks after he additionally received the Golden Glove award on the 2018 World Cup in a £35million deal.
He has since gone on to determine himself as one of many prime goalkeepers in La Liga.
Chelsea skipper Cesar Azpilicueta is certainly one of solely 4 gamers nonetheless on the membership from Conte’s closing XI.
The Spaniard has continued to excel within the Blues three-man defensive unit underneath new boss Thomas Tuchel, regardless of the very fact he is coming into the twilight years of his profession.
Conte helped elevate Azpilicueta to new heights throughout his two-year reign at Stamford Bridge, and the veteran has continued that wealthy vein of kind ever since.
Conte shall be hoping to catch the ever-dependable stalwart on a uncommon off day this weekend.
Gary Cahill was just about an ever-present for Conte throughout his first yr within the Premier League because the Blues cantered to the title.
The England defender solely missed one league sport all season and even chipped in with six league objectives.
Though he performed 10 video games fewer the next season, Cahill was nonetheless an integral a part of Conte’s squad.
His Blues profession nosedived after Conte left the membership, although, with Cahill managing simply 9 appearances the next season earlier than he joined Crystal Palace.
Sarcastically, Antonio Rudiger was signed by Conte, however the 52-year-old by no means fairly bought to see one of the best of the German defender.
Actually, it is solely actually been since Tuchel took cost that Rudiger has developed into one of many Blues’ key performers.
Sadly for Chelsea, it stays to be seen if Rudiger will stay on the membership for for much longer.
Their defensive lynchpin has lower than six months remaining on his present deal – and there aren’t any ensures that the Blues will meet his extortionate wage calls for to tie him all the way down to a brand new long-term contract.
Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC through Getty Photos)
Previous to Conte’s arrival at Stamford Bridge, Victor Moses was going nowhere at Stamford Bridge.
However the Nigeria worldwide was given a brand new lease of life after Conte transformed the previous Wigan man right into a proper wing-back.
Moses performed a pivotal position in Chelsea’s march to the title in 2016/17, racking up three objectives and lacking simply 4 video games.
Sadly for Moses, he was successfully bombed out of the membership following Conte’s departure and has since gone on to have numerous spells with Fenerbahce, Inter Milan and Spartak Moscow.
Conte snapped up Tiemoue Bakayoko simply weeks after the Blues received the title in a whopping £40m deal from Monaco.
However the French midfielder struggled to impress at Stamford Bridge and was rapidly hounded out of the membership.
Bakayoko was shipped out on mortgage to AC Milan – just for the Italian giants to shun a everlasting change.
The 27-year-old has since had spells on mortgage at Napoli and Monaco earlier than he returned to Milan on a two-year mortgage deal in the summertime.
N’Golo Kante was certainly one of Conte’s first signings after he arrived on the membership – and arguably his greatest.
The excellent Frenchman was one of many key performers in Leicester’s unlikely title win. And he repeated the feat 12 months later because the Blues clinched the Premier League crown.
Kante has gone from power to power since then and is extensively recognised as one of many prime midfielders in Europe.
Former Arsenal star Cesc Fabregas was lured again to the Premier League by the Blues in 2014 and performed a key position throughout Conte’s profitable two-year keep on the membership after placing up an understanding with the excellent Kante.
After failing to win English soccer’s prime prize throughout his lengthy keep at Arsenal, Fabregas realised his dream by lifting the Premier League title twice within the blue of Chelsea.
After his second spell in England got here to an finish, the Spaniard moved to France to hyperlink up with Ligue 1 giants Monaco.
Like Azpilicueta, Rudiger and Kante, Marcos Alonso continues to be on the books in west London.
The Spanish wing-back has been having fun with an surprising run within the staff following Ben Chilwell’s season-ending harm.
Alonso was an enormous hit as a wing-back in Tuchel’s 5-3-2 system however, like Moses, noticed his Chelsea profession rapidly unravel after Conte left the membership.
He is been one other participant who has been linked with an exit from the membership this month.
Eden Hazard was Chelsea’s crown jewel each earlier than and after Conte’s time on the membership.
The Belgian notched 16 league objectives throughout Chelsea’s march to the title within the 2016/17 season – the best tally he ever managed within the Premier League.
Hazard’s lengthy keep at Stamford Bridge got here to an finish in 2019 when Actual Madrid stumped up an outrageous £130million to prise technical wizard to the Bernabeu.
The Blues former talisman has struggled in La Liga since his lavish change to Spain and has been linked with a return to SW6 on a couple of event.
Olivier Giroud grew to become one thing of a cult hero at Stamford Bridge after becoming a member of the membership from London rivals Arsenal.
Though Conte signed Giroud, it was solely actually after he left the membership that the large striker received over the Blues trustworthy.
Giroud notched some important objectives for the membership and a few felt that he deserved extra of a look-in throughout his closing days within the Premier League.
The veteran sealed a change to AC Milan in the summertime and has notched 5 objectives in 13 Serie A video games for the Italian giants.