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In this day and age of football being a 'squad game', what a horrendous cliche, and managers loving a bit of rotation/dropping players it's a surprise when a player starts four games in a row, never mind starting and finishing 74 games in a row!
Modern football sees players being fitter than they've ever been but equally managers complaining more than ever about the amount of football they have to play and thus players are constantly 'rested.'
Tonight has seen fantasy football players tear their hair out with Premier League managers Antonio Conte, Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp leaving out Eden Hazard, Leroy Sane and Mohamed Salah of their teams. That's if those fantasy bosses still have any hair.
Klopp has left Salah out tonight and he's been absolutely flying. Image: PA Images
However despite all those big attacking names missing out it's actually a defender being benched that is most surprising of all. For 74 Premier League matches in a row, stretching back to December 2015, Cesar Azpilicueta has played all 90 minutes- not any longer.
Against Swansea on Wednesday night the Spaniard known as Dave was left on the bench with Antonio Conte playing Antonio Rudiger, Anders Christiansen and Gary Cahill at centre back and Cristian Zappacosta at right back.
74 - Cesar Azpilicueta isn't starting a Chelsea PL game for the first time since December 2015, having played 90 minutes in each of the Blues' last 74 top-flight matches. Dave. pic.twitter.com/sC3WXW65o2- OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 29, 2017
The last time Cesar Azpilicueta didn't start a league game for Chelsea (December 2015):- B/R Football (@brfootball) November 29, 2017
-Mourinho-coached Chelsea lost at home to Bournemouth
-Chelsea were in 14th place
-Antonio Conte managed Italy
-Alvaro Morata was a Juve player
-Bieber's 'Love Yourself' topped the charts pic.twitter.com/q7SYkqaeot
Azpilicueta dropping to the bench ends a run of 74 consecutive Premier League starts. I'd say he's earned a night off #cfc- Liam Twomey (@liam_twomey) November 29, 2017
Oh I'm gonna cry! Azpilicueta not even playing and I made him captain! pic.twitter.com/OLHyrjd4Nb- Hêlîn (@MUnitedGirl) November 29, 2017
This is the first Premier League game Antonio Conte will be in charge of that doesn't see Cesar Azpilicueta start! Fair to say he's earned the right to put his feet up.. #CFC pic.twitter.com/8DJ5LCbsWW- Breathe Chelsea (@BreatheChels) November 29, 2017
Conte is so full of it. Why bench Hazard and Azpilicueta in a game u have to totally win to keep up? Smh.- Chris Breezy (@Krisrezy) November 29, 2017
For Azpilicueta it's a well deserved night off, for the rest of us it's time to check who's on our fantasy football bench.
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