After five hard fought wins in a row, Chelsea are already confirmed as winners of Group L and top seeds in the knockout round draw. Maurizio Sarri will thus see this game as a chance to rotate even more so than usual in midweek matches — the likes of Hazard, Kante, Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Kepa, Kovacic, Cahill, Moses haven’t even traveled (some due to rest, some due to injury)!
Kepa Arrizabalaga had played every European match so far, but since he stayed at home, it’s probably time to give Caballero a run-out. Would be lovely to see Marcin Bulka get a game however, too.
A full rotation is expected, and with Cahill confirmed out, we’ll hopefully see a first start of the season for young Ethan Ampadu.
Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek seem destined to start, and the only question is who will be in the middle. Probably Cesc Fabregas.
Up front, it’s Callum Hudson-Odoi time, as essentially confirmed by Sarri already. Assuming Giroud starts in the league, Morata and one of Willian or Pedro should get the nod.
Caballero | Emerson, Christensen, Ampadu, Zappacosta | Barkley, Fabregas, Loftus-Cheek | Hudson-Odoi, Morata, Willian
THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE
The WAGNH community’s preferred lineup welcomes back Big Willy Style Caballero for the first time since the League Cup against Liverpool as he pips Bulka (36%). The rest is a fairly obvious and straightforward full rotation. The only close call was Ampadu over Cahill (61%). Morata handily beat Giroud (27%), while Moses won the vote long before his absence was confirmed on Wednesday — Willian (22%) edges out Pedro (19%) as a replacement.
Caballero (48%) | Emerson (96%), Christensen (92%), Ampadu (76%), Zappacosta (93%) | Loftus-Cheek (93%), Fàbregas (90%), Barkley (82%) | Hudson-Odoi (97%), Morata (71%), Moses (53%)