Despite managing to progress through to the semifinal of Europa League, Chelsea have suffered a blow in their pursuit of ‘top four’ following last weekend’s defeat against Liverpool. They must ensure wins in the remaining Premier League fixtures and must uplift their display against Burnley on Monday night.
The fixture at Stamford Bridge might turn out to be tricky for Maurizio Sarri’s men who have been highly inconsistent of late. Burnley, on the other hand, recovered from a dreadful start and have almost ensured safety avoiding a relegation scare. They are currently enjoying a three-game winning streak and must be upbeat about concluding the season on a high note securing a midtable finish.
Chelsea Team News
Marco van Ginkel and Ethan Ampadu remain the long-term injury absentees with their respective knee and lower back strains. Antonio Rudiger suffered a knee injury against Liverpool and is set to be sidelined for the Burnley clash. Marcos Alonso continues to be a doubt with a gluteal injury. However, Eden Hazard is likely to return recovering from a minor knock sustained against Slavia Prague on Thursday night.
Sarri has been particular with his team set-up and is expected to field the Blues in a usual 4-3-3 pattern against the Clarets.
Chelsea splashed the cash in the summer to rope in Kepa Arrizabalaga as Thibaut Courtois’ replacement and the young Spaniard has been impressive so far barring the bizarre League Cup final incident. He would keep his place between the sticks ahead of veteran Willy Caballero.
The ever-reliable Cesar Azpilicueta should operate from his usual right-back role. However, the knee injury of Rudiger would see Andreas Christensen partnering David Luiz in the heart of Chelsea defence. Emerson, meanwhile, is having a rare run of games in the absence of Alonso and the gaffer should retain him as their primary left-back option for the time being.
The Blues have an array of resources in the middle of the park and Sarri should opt for rotating his options versus the Clarets. Jorginho did not start the European tie. He is therefore expected to begin in a deep-lying playmaking role from the beginning.
N’Golo Kante would keep his place in their three-man midfield whereas Ruben Loftus-Cheek should be recalled in action even though the youngster failed to impress against Liverpool at Anfield. Mateo Kovacic and Ross Barkley might be introduced later on to add more variation and flexibility in the centre of the pitch.
Exquisite Eden Hazard must be the first name on the teamsheet for his majestic form in Chelsea colours. Gonzalo Higuain deserves a start in his preferred ‘number 9’ role ahead of Olivier Giroud, the former Arsenal hitman who found the net against Slavia Prague this midweek.
Pedro scored a brace as well. However, he might make way for Willian to remain fit and functional for the remainder of the campaign. Teenager Callum Hudson-Odoi has earned enough senior minutes in recent weeks and should be in Sarri’s plan.
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