Maurizio Sarri will have to change his back four from the last league tie, with Andreas Christensen set to come in for the injured Antonio Rudiger as Chelsea take on Burnley.
Chelsea have been handed a brilliant opportunity, with Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United all losing their respective fixtures. The Blues are in with a great chance to regain some momentum in the race for top four. But, they will need to upstage a Burnley side at Stamford Bridge that have gained some traction in terms of positive results in the last few weeks.
Maurizio Sarri though, refused to highlight any priority in terms of competitions in his pre-match conference, stating that Chelsea will try to do both – finish in the top four to qualify for the Champions League and try to win the UEFA Europa League to qualify through that route.
“At the moment we cannot choose. We have to try in the Premier League, we have to try in the Europa League, but we want to win the Europa League because it’s a very important competition, not for going in the Champions League.”
“So we have to try in the Premier League to get in the top four. It’s not easy for us because we have to play only four matches, but we have to try. I think in the last four, five matches it will be very difficult for every team involved in the fight for the top four, not only for us. I think we can see some very strange results in the last part of the season, we have only to fight and see at the end.”
Kepa Arrizabalaga will be in goal for Chelsea. The Spaniard has picked up form after the Manchester City incident in the Carabao Cup final and will be keen on ending the season with a good run of performances. The goalkeeper will see a back four of Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen, David Luiz and Emerson Palmieri defend his goal.
Christensen will come in for the injured Antonio Rudiger in the only change in defence from the last league game and will hope to impress Sarri with his performance. Emerson has been preferred over Marcos Alonso recently and the Italian will be looking to maintain his new status.
In midfield, Jorginho should return after being rested during the midweek. N’Golo Kante will aid Chelsea’s cause against Burnley in midfield, with the third spot likely to go to Ruben Loftus-Cheek, which would push Mateo Kovacic and Ross Barkley to the bench for Monday night.
Callum Hudson-Odoi could have to be content with a place on the bench against Burnley. While Eden Hazard is almost certain to start on the left side of the attack, Pedro’s game-defining performance against Slavia Prague on Thursday should see him grab the spot on the right.
Gonzalo Higuain will likely be provided another chance to show his skills upfront. The Argentine has looked a shadow of his domineering self and would hope to have a good run of displays in front of goal leading up to the summer to increase his chances of grabbing a permanent deal at Stamford Bridge.
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