Chelsea tasted defeat for the first time this season at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur as they went down at the hands of their London rivals. However, they will have to leave the disappointment behind them and look to get back to winning ways as they take on PAOK Salonika in their next match in the Europa League.
Maurizio Sarri’s men have been in decent form since the start of the season in both the domestic front as well as in Europe and would face PAOK at Stamford Bridge. The Blues will look to take full advantage of the home support, but it will not be an easy outing for the Group L leaders in the Europa League competition.
The Pensioners have already qualified for the next round with 12 points from their first four games this season and would look to keep their winning run intact when they lock horns with the Greek outfit. PAOK are in contention to qualify for the next round with just two more matches left in the group stage and would be desperate to get all three points from their game against Chelsea.
Sarri has a fully fit squad at his disposal barring the talisman Eden Hazard, which would be a significant boost for the Italian manager going into this fixture. The Belgian international is being treated for the knock he picked up against Tottenham Hotspur and might be rested for the match against PAOK.
It was a disappointing outing for Kepa Arrizabalaga in the last match against Tottenham Hotspur as the young Spaniard conceded three goals. He should get some well-deserved rest, and veteran goalkeeper Willy Caballero will start for the Blues in the next encounter.
The duo of Andreas Christensen and Gary Cahill will start in the heart of the backline for the Pensioners. Emerson Palmieri will come into the side as the left back while Davide Zappacosta would put in his shift from the right back position.
Ruben Loftus Cheek will once again get another chance to prove his mettle as he will start in the midfield. Cesc Fabregas is set to replace Jorginho in the side for the next match and will play alongside N’Golo Kante in the middle of the pitch.
With Hazard in doubt, it should be Willian who starts as the left wide attacker for the Pensioners while Pedro should begin on the right. Olivier Giroud, who scored the only goal for Chelsea in their last match against Tottenham, could be handed the responsibility to lead the line against PAOK.
Predicted Formation: 4-3-3