International

Cup clash gives frustrated Fabregas a chance

2017-01-27 10:55
Cesc Fabregas (Getty Images)

London - Cesc Fabregas is not happy at his lack of game time under Chelsea manager Antonio Conte and on Saturday he can make a case for more opportunities in the FA Cup fourth-round clash with Brentford.

The 29-year-old former Arsenal and Barcelona midfielder, a member of the Spain side that won the 2010 World Cup, has made just five Premier League starts this season and admits he has found it difficult to adjust to life on the sidelines.

"I play football to win and enjoy," said Fabregas, who came on and impressed in last weekend's 2-0 win over struggling Hull that kept Chelsea eight points clear at the top of the Premier League.

"When I don't play I'm sad and I don't enjoy it but I'm happy the team is doing well. Football is my life, it's everything to me."

Conte, whose inspired decision to switch to three centre-backs after a defeat by Arsenal has transformed the club's fortunes, is likely to rest his leading striker Diego Costa with Michy Batshuayi set to be handed a rare starting spot.

Conte, who arrived at Chelsea after guiding Italy to a penalty shootout defeat by Germany at the Euro 2016 quarter-finals, has done an excellent job of managing his squad this season.

He fielded a number of young players in the third-round victory over third-tier Peterborough United.

The 47-year-old Italian is again expected to shuffle his pack, handing a start to midfielders Nathaniel Chalobah and Ruben Loftus-Cheek while defender Kurt Zouma is likely to continue his recovery from a long-term knee injury with a starting appearance.

The meeting with second-tier Brentford, also from west London, presents an opportunity for Josh McEachran to return to Stamford Bridge and make a point of his own.

The midfielder was tipped to break into the Chelsea line-up after being introduced to the first team by Carlo Ancelotti at the age of 17.

Now 23, he fell out of favour when Ancelotti was replaced by Andre Villas-Boas and after several spells out on loan, eventually completed a permanent move to Brentford 18 months ago.

"Managers are under so much pressure so to chuck a young English lad in, it's not easy," said McEachran, whose failure to get a real look-in at Chelsea should be a lesson to the likes of Chalobah and Loftus-Cheek.

"At 17 or 18 I was good enough to play for Chelsea and I still think I could play for Chelsea. It's just about the opportunity. You need confidence, I had that with Carlo.

"I do think the club wants to see a young English lad break through.

"They are desperate for it. Nathaniel Chalobah is getting another chance. He has always been a top player. I am hoping he does."

Chelsea will be looking to continue their formidable form and avoid a cup upset when the two London-based sides clash at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Kick off is at 17:00.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2017/18 PSL season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
Vote

Do you think SAFA made the right choice in appointing Stuart Baxter as head coach of Bafana Bafana?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.