4-3-3: Hazard To Start? Sarri To Make 7 Changes | Expected Chelsea XI vs BATE
Chelsea take on BATE Borisov in Belarus in the Europa League on Thursday night. Here is the side I think Maurizio Sarri will select for the game:
Chelsea will look to secure top spot and progression to the knockout stages of the Europa League with a win over BATE Borisov in Belarus on Thursday night. Here is the side I think Maurizio Sarri will select for the game:
Goalkeeper: Sarri has so far picked his best goalkeeper in the Europa League so Kepa Arrizabalaga is expected to continue between the sticks. Perhaps once they’re qualified the Blues boss will give Willy Caballero a chance but for now he’ll have to make-do with a place on the bench.
Defence: However, we should see changes at the back as Marcos Alonso, David Luiz and Antonio Rudiger haven’t travelled to Minsk as they’ve been left back in west London to rest. Cesar Azpilicueta is also expected to be given a breather so Davide Zappacosta should come in at right-back.
Emerson Palmeiri is set for a run-out at left-back in place of Alonso while we should see Andreas Christensen and Gary Cahill given recalls in the middle of the back four tomorrow night.
Midfield: Unfortunately Chelsea will be without Cesc Fabregas as the Spaniard has been ruled out with a fever so Jorginho could keep his place in the deep lying playmaker role tomorrow. Ideally the Italian would have been rested but Sarri will hope he makes it through the game unscathed.
N’Golo Kante is in the squad but he could be named on the bench with Mateo Kovacic recalled after being a substitute against Crystal Palace at the weekend while Ruben Loftus-Cheek is expected to come back in to the side with Ross Barkley making way.
Attack: Eden Hazard has travelled with the squad to Belarus and Sarri has confirmed he will give the Belgian international 45 minutes tomorrow. There is a chance Hazard could start and be taken off at half time but I think he’s more likely to introduce him from the bench.
Therefore, Pedro and Willian are expected to retain their places in the attack having both started against Palace on Sunday afternoon as Victor Moses continues to be frozen out under Sarri with the Nigerian not even making the squad.
Alvaro Morata has found some form lately but Sarri has decided to give the Spaniard a rest as he’s been left back in London. The good news is Olivier Giroud is fit to return after missing the last two matches with a muscle problem so he should get a recall up front.
Here is how we think Chelsea will line-up:
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