Chelsea’s five-match unbeaten run — seven, if you count the League Cup final as a draw — looks good on paper but it hides a slightly unseemly underbelly. Other than said League Cup finale and the 2-0 win over Spurs, the last two Premier League outings have been a bit of a struggle. A 2-1 win at stragglers Fulham and a 1-1 draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Bridge last weekend are not exactly outstanding results.
So there’s work to do be done.
Thursday’s 5-0 demolishing of Dynamo Kiev will of course build confidence and that can be contagious. Chelsea remain in good health and of good motivation, and those are certainly good basics to start with.
Gonzalo Higuaín missed the midweek trip with some sort of illness. Presumably he will be back and available on Sunday. Davide Zappacosta limped off with a leg injury on Thursday; his availability may be more in question, though his claims on a first-team place are not exactly strong these days (or ever, really, in his Chelsea career thus far).
Sunday’s match is the last Chelsea game until the final day of March in two weeks. The international break beckons; there’s no need to conserve any energies or effort.