Pundit explains to Antonio Conte what is really important for Chelsea this season

Pat Nevin believes the FA Cup can help the Chelsea squad stay sharp in the Premier League title race

Pat Nevin believes the FA Cup is a vital tournament for Chelsea this season ahead of some vital Premier League games.

The west London side moved eight points clear of second-placed Arsenal in the table after their 2-0 win against Hull City at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon.

Diego Costa broke the deadlock in the first half with a close-range finish before England defender Gary Cahill extended their lead in the closing stages of the clash.

Chelsea will take on Liverpool at Anfield in their next Premier League game on Tuesday night before Antonio Conte’s side host Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on Saturday 4 February.

However, the Premier League leaders have the small matter of an a FA Cup fourth-round clash against Brentford at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon.

Speaking to Chelsea’s website after their 2-0 win against Hull at the weekend, the club’s former winger Nevin highlighted the importance of the FA Cup to the Blues squad this season.

“So this week coming is Brentford in the FA Cup and then it is the double-header of Liverpool away and Arsenal at the Bridge,” Nevin said.

“Those two games are vital but have to go on hold as the FA Cup this year is very important to Chelsea, not just because we want to win it. This is the perfect opportunity, as we all know, to give fringe players competitive game time.

“The more games in this cup run the better for them, because those players will be needed. The stability of the side has been almost as incredible as this fine run of form the team has been on, but it cannot last indefinitely; injuries, suspensions and maybe even the odd form dip may occur.”

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