Predicted Chelsea XI to face Bournemouth in the Premier League
They hit the ground running after that match though as they went on to beat Tottenham to progress to the EFL Cup final. Added to the excitement building around new arrival Gonzalo Higuain, this will be an interesting week for the Chelsea fans.
With Tottenham and Arsenal both facing a mini injury crisis, Sarri will be looking to take advantage of the situation and trump Spurs into 3rd place and create further distance away from Gunners.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek returned from his back problem and featured for a third of the FA Cup against Sheffield Wednesday. All the other regular players are fit.
Probable Chelsea XI
Manager: Maurizio Sarri
GK – Kepa Arizzabalaga
Has established himself as the first-choice since arriving from Athletic Club Bilbao for a world record fee. He has the potential to be the shot-stopper here for years to come.
RB – Cesar Azpilicueta
The Chelsea captain, Azpilicueta has been a symbol of consistency in Chelsea’s defence and has developed into one of the best right-backs in the league.
RCB – Antonio Rudiger
The German international has been a brick wall this campaign. He is a strong character who likes to express himself with his football.
LCB – David Luiz
With Fabregas’ departure to Monaco, the role of being the ball-player has fallen to David Luiz and if the last few games are anything to go by, Chelsea will have no shortage of cross-field and defence-splitting passes.
LB – Marcos Alonso
While Emerson showed himself in a very good light last week against Spurs, expect Alonso to regain his starting role on the left flank from where he bombards forward.
RCM – N’Golo Kante
Arguably the best defensive midfielder in the world, N’Golo has been his usual charismatic self all season and has secured the right-sided midfield position.
CM – Jorginho
The pass master that Sarri brought with him from Napoli, he has slowly begun to feel the stress of the Premier League. Experience is the answer and the more game time he gets, the better suited he’ll be.
LCM – Matteo Kovacic
The Real Madrid loanee has been good for Chelsea this campaign and his mazy running and quick passing make him an excellent asset to Sarri’s system.
RW – Pedro
With Willian having played against Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday, expect Pedro to be placed on the right-hand side of a dangerous looking front line.
ST – Gonzalo Higuain
Chelsea’s latest number nine had an average debut in the FA Cup. He made some excellent runs and with Hazard next to him, expect him to find the back of the net very soon.
LW – Eden Hazard
The Belgian magician has a new striker to work with. His runs and delicate passes will help Higuain settle in and score many goals.