The middle game of a three-games-in-seven-days stretch sees Chelsea trek across London, from West London to East Ham, to take on West Ham in Newham. Chelsea collected just one point from two tries against the hammy Hammers last season, and that’s rather poor.
Chelsea are unbeaten in the league and sit on top; West Ham have lost four of five and are just above the relegation zone. But such considerations tend to go out the window in rivalry games.
For the Blues, the bigger concerns are fatigue and injuries, with most of the squad delayed in getting back from Greece on Friday and Pedro picking up a shoulder injury to join Mateo Kovačić on the sideline. Kovačić did not travel midweek on account of his thigh knock, though it’s unclear if that cleared up yet. Eden Hazard and David Luiz also missed the trip, but they were just rested, and kept company to Emerson, Danny Drinkwater, Lucas Piazon, and Rob Green at Cobham instead.
While Sarri was able to rotate about half his usual squad, and removed Jorginho and Marcos Alonso at just past the hour mark, the likes of N’Golo Kanté, Willian, and Antonio Rüdiger played the full 90 on Thursday. It’s hard to see any of those 3-5 players missing this one — there is a League Cup match against Liverpool coming up on Wednesday to give them a rest instead — but this isn’t about what Sarri might do. It’s about what you would do.