After winning the first two games and sitting pretty on top of the group, Chelsea’s next test in the Europa League comes in the form of BATE Borisov. Let’s hope we don’t get BATEd into a false sense of security and lose this one, eh?
Speaking in his pre-match conference, Sarri confirmed that at least half the team will be rotated, including Jorginho, which surely means a start for Cesc Fàbregas. Sarri also hinted at Loftus-Cheek seeing some minutes, although he once again downplayed a similar possibility for Callum Hudson-Odoi.
“I don’t know. We have to play after five days from the last match. The problem will be on Sunday as we have to play after 65 hours. We have to change something. Jorginho needs to rest now.
“For sure Jorginho (is going to be rested). I need to think very well as the problem is the next match after 65 hours. Maybe five or six[changes]. I don’t know about Hudson-Odoi but Loftus maybe.”
One player who has been forced out by necessity rather than option is Eden Hazard, thanks to the kicking he received in the Manchester United game.
"He’s out. He’s got a back problem. We’re trying to solve the problem for Sunday. Ampadu is also out."
So that's not great news. Hazard was always likely to not start the Europa League match, but now it becomes imperative that he does not. Back injuries can linger for a long time and flare up at all the wrong times. Chelsea are not the same team when Hazard doesn't play, so all eyes on his recovery and status moving forward.