Chelsea switch gears as midweek games make an appearance for the first time this season and the Blues head off on a European adventure to Thessaloniki, Greece, to take on PAOK.
Like Chelsea, PAOK are perfect in the league (three-for-three), though they were pretty soundly smashed at home by Benfica in their final Champions League qualifier, 4-1, which is what landed them in Europe’s secondary competition for this season. They finished second in Greece for the second year running last season.
Chelsea will be expected to win, but it’s unlikely to be easy. Sarri will have to balance fitness, rotation, and chemistry — the first eleven can play some scintillating football, but what would Sarri-ball look like without Jorginho running the show, for example?
We might find that out on Thursday, although with no fewer than three midfielders suddenly carrying various knocks and bruises, that may not come to pass. Fàbregas (knee), Kovačić (thigh), and Loftus-Cheek (shin) may or may not be fit and Drinkwater is ineligible. Also ineligible are Lucas Piazon and Rob Green. Everyone else is fit.
Sarri has already revealed that he will give Morata the start and he wants to give RLC the start and also rest at least one of Hazard and Pedro, but this isn’t about what he will do. It’s about what you would do.