Slavia Prague vs Chelsea predictions: Chelsea line-up
This is Maurizio Sarri’s best chance at winning his first major trophy and Chelsea’s first European trophy since their Europa League win. In Slavia Prague, they have arguably the easiest draw of the lot, with fellow English side Arsenal facing Napoli.
However, that being said, do not underestimate Slavia Prague. While they are not the greatest team in the world, they are in form. They are unbeaten in their last 10 games, including a 6-5 win over Sevilla in two legs. That game showed their preserverance and tenacity.
That’s something Chelsea really need to keep an eye out on, and complacency will be Sarri’s biggest issue.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek has returned to full fitness but Marcos Alonso is still a doubt for the clash. Barring that, only Ethan Ampadu and Marco Van Ginkel are out with long-term injuries and won’t make the cut.
Probable Chelsea XI
Manager: Maurizio Sarri
Kepa Arrizabalga (GK)
The Spaniard is the world’s most expensive goalkeeper and should keep his place for a rather big game.
Cesar Azpilicueta (RB)
Chelsea’s consistent man, Azpilicueta hasn’t really played in the Europa League but that should change now as the Blues move deeper into the Europa League.
David Luiz (CB)
A new man under Maurizio Sarri, the Brazilian hasn’t made too many Europa League appearances, but that should change.
Andreas Christensen (CB)
Amongst Chelsea’s talented younger players, the Dane hasn’t been given too many chances to impress, but has played regularly in the Europa League.
While Marcos Alonso is the first choice, the Spaniard is injured and may not make the final cut.
Few Chelsea players have divided opinions like Jorginho, but the Italian remains a consistent mark on the team-sheet.
Matteo Kovacic (CM)
He’s struggled to make a big impact since moving on loan from Real Madrid and he needs to step up his performances.
Ross Barkley (CM)
Inconsistent and yet talented, that’s the definition of Ross Barkley. He has the potential to do great things, but that’s only if he starts performing again.
Rested in recent weeks, the 30-year-old should find his way back into the team, with Callum Hudson-Odoi playing in his place.
Olivier Giroud (CF)
He’s been brilliant in the Europa League and currently leads the race for the Golden Boot with 9 goals.
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With Chelsea playing Liverpool at the weekend in the Premier League, there is a chance that Maurizio Sarri might rest Eden Hazard.