London - Antonio Conte's Chelsea reign doesn't start until
after Euro 2016, but following confirmation this week that the Italy coach will
take charge at Stamford Bridge, the focus has already switched towards next
Guus Hiddink has again done a fine job in his second spell
as interim manager at the club and the Blues will head to Swansea on Saturday
keen to extend their unbeaten Premier League run under the Dutchman.
Last weekend's 4-0 win at Aston Villa took that run to 14
games and an unfamiliar line-up confirmed Hiddink's intention to use the final
games of the campaign to experiment.
Hiddink made good on his promise to give some of Chelsea's
youngsters the chance to impress and the inclusion of Matt Miazga and Baba
Rahman in a back-four at the expense of John Terry and Gary Cahill in
particular raised eyebrows.
A decision on Terry's future will figure highly on Conte's
'to-do' list, with the club captain out of contract at the end of this season.
And after continuing reports that Diego Costa, who is
suspended for the Swansea clash having had the two-game ban imposed for his
dismissal at Everton extended by another game, is keen on a return to Spain,
Conte must also decide how keen he is to keep the controversial striker at the
Whatever the outcome of those two decisions, it is clear
Conte face a major rebuilding job after a disastrous season.
Even after a reasonable second half of the campaign, the
Blues remain in tenth position with only a slim chance of qualifying for the
And with changes to come, there is a big incentive for the
young players handed their chance by Hiddink to show they should have a place
in Conte's plans.
Also read: Match-fixing prosecutor seeks six-month sentence for Conte
Ruben Loftus-Cheek, the 20-year-old midfielder who has made
12 appearances this season, said: "The next manager coming in is watching
us now, so you always want to do your best in every game.
"We all want to impress the next man who is taking
over. Everyone has got to be at their best, we can't rest on our laurels
because there are no trophies to play for."
Loftus-Cheek is again expected to start along with fellow
youngster Kenedy and Miazga, while Bertrand Traore could start up front ahead
of Loic Remy.
Chelsea will face a Swansea side anxious to draw a line
under any lingering relegation concerns.
The Welsh side are in 15th place, although they have a
10-point cushion between themselves and the bottom three and with six games
remaining know another victory should effectively guarantee safety.
That is also likely to be the trigger for manager Francesco
Guidolin to open talks about his future after the Italian's short and
successful spell in charge.
"I will speak in the next few weeks with my chairman
(Huw Jenkins) about my future. This is my agreement," Guidolin said.
"First we must get maybe one, maybe three, maybe four
points because 37 points is not enough.
"I'm only thinking match by match and to get many
points to finish the season well. This is my dream.
"I hope to show my qualities as a manager, but I have
said that my future is the present now and I don't know if I'm still here next
"I would like to show all my qualities, but I don't
know (if that will happen)."For
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