Maurizio Sarri will be desperate to earn his first silverware as a Chelsea manager when the Blues take on Arsenal on Wednesday in the UEFA Europa League final at Baku. The West London giants are coming on the back of a nervy win over Eintracht Frankfurt in the semi-final. But, having already secured Champions League qualification, they will be keen to end the season on a positive note.
Sarri is almost guaranteed to start with his preferred 4-3-3 formation but could make a couple of alterations to the side that drew with Leicester City in their last competitive match.
4-3-3 Chelsea lineup vs Arsenal
Kepa Arrizabalaga is the undisputed number one keeper for Chelsea. The Spaniard is thus guaranteed to retain his place in between the sticks next week. But, he will be expecting a busy night against the mighty Arsenal attack.
Antonio Rudiger has been ruled out for this clash due to his knee injury. However, Chelsea will be boosted by the return of Andreas Christensen, who recently featured in the friendly against New England. The Dane will partner David Luiz at the heart of Chelsea’s four-man backline.
Christensen’s return to the starting eleven will allow Cesar Azpilicueta to shift into his preferred right-back slot. Davide Zappacosta will be the unlucky one as he is likely the one to make way for the Spaniard. Marcos Alonso will also make way for Emerson Palmieri on the opposite flank.
Sarri was optimistic about N’Golo Kante’s chances of returning to the starting eleven against Arsenal. But, the Frenchman has been ruled out with a knee injury, according to the latest reports. We expect Ross Barkley to deputize for the injured midfielder.
Barkley will be partnered by Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho in Chelsea’s 4-3-3 setup. Kovacic will replace the injured Ruben-Loftus Cheek, who has been ruled out with an Achilles problem.
Eden Hazard is guaranteed to make his return to the starting eleven, at the expense of Willian. He will occupy the left wing slot, with Pedro featuring on the opposite flank. The wide-duo will look to provide central striker Gonzalo Higuain with the necessary service upfront.
However, this could be Hazard’s final competitive game for Chelsea, with the Belgian heavily linked with a switch to Real Madrid this summer. It will be Higuain’s last match, as well, before the Argentine returns to Juventus following the completion of his six-month loan deal.