Kepa recalled? Sarri to make 3 changes | Expected Chelsea line-up vs Fulham
Chelsea take on Fulham at Craven Cottage on Sunday afternoon. Here is the side I think Maurizio Sarri will select for the game:
Chelsea will be looking to keep the pressure on the top four with a win over west London rivals Fulham at Craven Cottage on Sunday afternoon. Here is the side I think Maurizio Sarri will select for the game:
Goalkeeper: Sarri axed Kepa Arrizabalaga for the 2-0 victory over Tottenham following their bust-up in the Carabao Cup final defeat to Manchester City last weekend. Willy Caballero didn’t put a foot wrong against Spurs but Sarri has confirmed Kepa will be recalled to start one of the next two games. He made his point by dropping his number one in midweek so I think we’ll see Kepa back in goal on Sunday.
Defence: Marcos Alonso was recalled against Tottenham on Wednesday night but Emerson Palmeiri impressed during the Spaniard’s absence in recent games so I think we’ll see him come in at left-back while Cesar Azpilicueta should continue at right-back ahead of Davide Zappacosta.
Andreas Christensen is pushing for a recall in the middle of the back four but I think Sarri will save him for the Europa League clash with Dynamo Kyiv so David Luiz should continue alongside Antonio Rudiger this weekend.
Midfield: With the race for the top four so tight, Chelsea can’t afford to rest any players against Fulham so I think we’ll see Jorginho keeping his place as he’s been a key part of Sarri’s system this season following his summer arrival from Napoli.
N’Golo Kante should also keep his place in midfield but we may see Ross Barkley recalled in place of Mateo Kovacic as Sarri has been rotating the pair in recent weeks. Ruben Loftus-Cheek did well off the bench against Tottenham but I think a place among the subs is the best he can hope for on Sunday.
Attack: Chelsea are unlikely to rest Eden Hazard ahead of their Europa League last-16 clash on Thursday so I expect him to keep his place in attack this weekend meaning Callum Hudson-Odoi will have to make-do with a place on the bench.
Sarri has admitted Gonzalo Higuain needs to improve on his fitness before we’ll see the best of him in the Premier League but I still think he’ll start up front at Craven Cottage this weekend with Olivier Giroud among the subs.
Willian will be hoping for a recall in attack but Pedro was excellent during the win over Tottenham after scoring the vital opening goal so the Spaniard should keep his place alongside Hazard and Higuain.
Here is how we think Chelsea will line-up: