Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has been urged to make a big selection call for today’s FA Cup semi-final clash against Southampton at Wembley.
The Blues take on the Saints this afternoon as they look to join Manchester United in contesting this season’s FA Cup final, following the Red Devils’ victory over Tottenham yesterday.
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Conte has to get his team right after a difficult period lately, with this competition representing the club’s last chance of silverware this season.
It may indeed be the only way for Chelsea to end on any kind of high point as they face an uphill struggle to get into the top four of the Premier League in their final few games.
Olivier Giroud deserves Chelsea start – Danny Murphy
With that in mind, Danny Murphy has advised Conte to go with Olivier Giroud over the misfiring Alvaro Morata up front against Southampton.
The Spain international has had a highly disappointing first season at Stamford Bridge, and January signing Giroud looks like he deserves a shot in this big game after a decent impact from the substitutes’ bench since he arrived.
‘Olivier Giroud has waited patiently since moving to Chelsea but he scored twice when he came off the bench against Southampton in the League last week, terrified their defence and is playing with confidence,’ Murphy wrote in the Evening Standard.
‘I do not know what more Giroud can do and, having played the full 90 minutes against Burnley last night when Antonio Conte surprisingly paired him with Alvaro Morata from the off, he fully deserves to start ahead of the Spaniard in the FA Cup semi-final against Southampton again on Sunday.
‘When you keep doing what Giroud has been doing, then you have every right to throw a tantrum if you are then kept out of the team.
‘This is not about Morata’s quality. He is a good player, but who is playing better? Who is in better form? Who is more of a handful?’