Chelsea begin a fortnight of games that could make or break the season with Monday’s FA Cup last 16 matchup against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge, a rematch of last year’s final that Chelsea won thanks to an Eden Hazard penalty.
Assistant manager Gianfranco Zola promised a strong lineup for the Blues, which sounds reasonable considering that this game is sandwiched between the two legs of our Europa League Round of 32 tie against Malmö FF, which we should be able to win with our hands tied behind our backs. But Chelsea made fairly hard work of the third best team in Sweden, so it remains very hard to know what sort of performance to expect from the players.
Three minor injury concerns aside, Sarri will have a full squad to choose from. There’s a chance that Ruben Loftus-Cheek could recover in time, while the minor ailments that kept Danny Drinkwater (tendon) and Gary Cahill (back / back? / “back”) out from the Malmö trip may not longer apply either (though it’s unlikely we see either of those two the rest of the season, healthy or not).