Chelsea are still well on course to progress to the Europa League semi-finals, which is a good thing after the disappointment of Sunday's loss to Liverpool. The race for the top four is a secondary concern today as underestimating our opponents could prove costly in this backdoor to next year's Champions League.
THE PREDICTED LINEUP
As always, there’s no debate in goal as Kepa Arrizabalaga starts between the sticks.
While Antonio Rüdiger’s injury is a big blow to Chelsea, it does provide Andreas Christensen with an opportunity to prove himself and stake a claim for the future. Similarly, Emerson can further tie down his spot at left-back with Marcos Alonso also missing training due to injury. Both David Luiz and Cesar Azpilicueta seem certain starters for Sarri.
Chelsea’s midfield of Jorginho, Ross Barkley and Mateo Kovačić wasn’t too convincing in Prague though rotation could see them all start once more. Overplaying Ruben Loftus-Cheek might be risky with his persisting back issues and with Ethan Ampadu currently being injured there aren’t any other options left. N’Golo Kanté, anyone?
Willian and Pedro were both rested against Liverpool at the weekend so I do believe they’ll both start on the wings, with Eden Hazard acting as the Europa League trump card from the bench. Olivier Giroud will act as our main man down the middle.
Arrizabalaga | Emerson, David Luiz, Christensen, Azpilicueta | Barkley, Kovačić, Kanté | Willian, Giroud, Pedro
THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE
Rotation and injuries see some changes made by the WAGNH community as Christensen comes in ahead of the long forgotten Gary Cahill (25%). Alonso starts ahead of Emerson (34%) while Zappacosta (36%) continues to miss out. Hudson-Odoi (50%) and Hazard (36%) are rested for Burnley on Monday and Jorginho (51%) gets some much needed rest.
Arrizabalaga (91%) | Alonso (66%), Christensen (94%), David Luiz (76%), Azpilicueta (64%) | Barkley (69%), Kovačić (73%), Kanté (59%) | Willian (58%), Giroud (85%), Pedro (60%)
MY PREFERRED LINEUP
I made one different choice to the lineup preferred by the community, though my omission of Alonso in favour of Emerson is due to the probable injury. I’d like to see Callum start at Burnley so I’m perfectly fine with him coming from the bench.
Arrizabalaga | Emerson, Luiz, Christensen, Azpilicueta | Barkley, Kovačić, Kanté | Willian, Giroud, Pedro
COME ON YOU BLUES!!!