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Hazard set for first Chelsea start of the season

Hazard came off the bench in Saturday's 0-0 draw with Arsenal at Stamford Bridge Credit: PA

Forward Eden Hazard is set to start for Chelsea for the first time this season in Wednesday night's Carabao Cup clash with Nottingham Forest.

Defender David Luiz is suspended for three games and winger Pedro is unlikely to be risked due to a leg injury, while midfielder Danny Drinkwater (calf) is also absent.

Striker Michy Batshuayi could start, with young players Charly Musonda and Kenedy also expected to be given first-team opportunities in a rotated squad.

Chelsea squad: Courtois, Caballero, Rudiger, Alonso, Fabregas, Kante, Morata, Hazard, Bakayoko, Moses, Kenedy, Musonda, Zappacosta, Willian, Batshuayi, Cahill, Christensen, Azpilicueta, Luiz, Clarke-Salter, Scott, Eduardo.

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Chelsea boss Conte adamant Arsenal are title rivals

Conte says Arsenal will challenge for the title. Credit: PA

Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte is adamant Arsenal are a Premier League title contender.

The Gunners have lost two of their first four matches and the most recent away game prior to their trip to Stamford Bridge was a 4-0 loss at Liverpool, which reignited debate about Arsene Wenger's position as manager.

Arsenal have not won at Chelsea since October 2011 and have won two of 21 games against the established top six since the start of the 2013-14 season, but Conte feels the Gunners are a threat.

"For sure Arsenal is a big rival for the title," he said. "If you see their squad you can understand there are a lot of top players. I don't understand why they can't fight for the title.

"They lost only one player now, (Alex) Oxlade-Chamberlain. They kept all the players from last season. In their squad there are many top players.

"I think Arsenal is one of the six top teams in England.

"For this reason I think it's a massive game for us. It's the same when you play against (Manchester) City, against Liverpool, (Manchester) United, Tottenham.

"In England there are six top teams and when you play against one of them it's always a massive game. We have to fight."

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