While the 3-0 scoreline from the first leg may seem comfortable, complacency could prove Chelsea’s downfall. Maurizio Sarri should resort to a good mixture of experience and youth, to try to prevent that from happening.
Despite all but one of the entire regular squad travelling to Kiev, including young Marcin Bulka, Kepa Arrizabalaga should retain his starting position, just as he’s had all season except in the wake of the “big misunderstanding”.
In defense however, rotation is bound to happen, with Marcos Alonso and Davide Zappacosta replacing Emerson and Cesar Azpilicueta, respectively. Andreas Christensen will likely to rotate in for one of Antonio Rüdiger or David Luiz — it’s probably the latter’s turn to take a break after Rüdiger took a breather last week.
Jorginho didn’t last the 90 minutes against Wolves at the weekend, and is desperate need of rest after starting five straight and not having had a matchday off in two months (16 straight appearances; 14 starts). N’Golo Kanté is in a similar situation, which should leave the trio of Loftus-Cheek (long overdue start), Kovačić (regista), and Barkley to start.
Olivier Giroud has established himself as our starting striker in the Europa League and will remain as such, especially with Gonzalo Higuaín staying behind in London. Pedro and Hazard have both started 4 of the last 5, as if this wasn’t already a fantastic opportunity to start Callum Hudson-Odoi. Willian should get the nod on the left in his return to Ukraine.
Arrizabalaga | Alonso, Christensen, Rüdiger, Zappacosta | Loftus-Cheek, Kovačić, Barkley | Willian, Giroud, Hudson-Odoi
THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE
No surprises in the WAGNH community voting, with clear cut winners at most positions. Caballero gets the nod in goal over Arrizabalaga (43%), while Alonso, Rüdiger, and Kovačić edge out their competition in Emerson (46%), Ampadu (46%) and Kanté (44%). Hazard (13%) and Pedro (17%) are firmly relegated to the bench while Callum Hudson-Odoi once again dominates the preferences with 94% of the vote.
Caballero (54%) | Alonso (54%), Christensen (92%), Rüdiger (57%), Zappacosta (80%) | Loftus-Cheek (77%), Kovačić (54%), Barkley (71%) | Willian (72%), Giroud (86%), Hudson-Odoi (94%)
I’m going with the same lineup as the community with the sole exception of David Luiz for Rüdiger. Overall, this is a sound starting eleven and should cruise past Dynamo Kiev.
Caballero | Alonso, David Luiz, Christensen, Zappacosta | Loftus-Cheek, Kovačić, Barkley | Willian, Giroud, Hudson-Odoi
COME ON YOU BLUES!!!