Perhaps unlike Mourinho, Conte is a strong believer in player rotation. Its important to his philosophy of high press, high tempo, high energy, tactical play.
It was blatantly obvious that in order to get the one point needed to remain in the Premier League Huddersfield were going to be highly defensive. Chelsea would urgently require players able to carry the ball rather than just pass through the Huddersfield defence.
So who should Conte pick for this tight and vital match?
The odds were very highly in favour of Liverpool, if they really had to, beating Brighton at Anfield in a few days time. So they would be “top four”
Tottenham Hotspurs had two home games to play, Newcastle and Leicester. Despite nerves Spurs needed just four points from the six available. A highly probable task. With four points they would be “top four”
So, by rotation, Conte left Hazard the ball carrying, dribbling wizard, from the starting lineup. The first half cried out for a ball carrying player to break down Huddersfield.
If the squad had made the right transfer decisions his chosen eleven should have been able to win against a lowly Huddersfield, and Challenge Liverpool for fourth place.
And Chelsea’s upcoming Cup Final eleven would virtually choose itself from players not overplayed to exhaustion.
In effect Conte thought Chelsea were destined to fall short of Liverpool on goal difference. Conte likes to employ certain types of players that can perform at the top level whichever combination is chosen. To Conte transfer policy is critical to his success. New squad members need to be personally chosen for hire.
So he chooses an eleven against Huddersfield that in theory should perform effectively as they are in the elite squad.
Its obvious that Chelsea need at least one more top class dribbler.
To actually win the Premier again they need to review and overhaul the whole squad to make it a fully cohesive elite first team again.