Chelsea will be eyeing a place in the Europa League final when they play hosts to Eintracht Frankfurt at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday. The Blues secured a 1-1 draw in the first leg, thanks to Pedro’s neat finish just before half-time. The priceless away goal means that the West London giants only need a goalless draw in order to advance to the finals.
Maurizio Sarri is likely to stick to the preferred 4-3-3 formation he used in the win over Watford. However, the Italian will have to make a forced change in midfield due to N’Golo Kante’s injury at the weekend.
4-3-3 Chelsea lineup vs Eintracht Frankfurt
Kepa Arrizabalaga made an important save to deny Frankfurt from scoring in the first-leg. And the Spaniard will once again play a crucial role in goal this week.
Cesar Azpilicueta is likely to retain his place in the starting lineup given the nature of the fixture. The experienced defender will operate in the right-back slot. Emerson will replace Marcos Alonso on the opposite flank. However, the Brazilian will certainly need to improve after a dismal performance in the first leg.
Andreas Christensen will continue to deputise for the injured Antonio Rudiger. He will partner the ever-present figure of David Luiz at the heart of Chelsea’s four-man backline.
Kante sustained an early hamstring injury in the win over Watford at the weekend. Sarri already fears that the Frenchman could miss the remainder of the campaign. And this will be a massive blow for Chelsea.
However, we expect Ruben Loftus-Cheek to return to the starting lineup. The English international was one of the star performers in the first leg and even in the win over Watford. His physicality and dynamism will make Chelsea much more vigilant in the middle third.
Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic in central will partner Loftus-Cheek. Kovacic, in particular, is likely to get the nod ahead of Ross Barkley, who was an unused sub in the last game.
Gonzalo Higuain’s masterful display against Watford will probably convince Sarri to give him the starting berth over Olivier Giroud. The Argentine will spearhead the Chelsea attack this week.
He will be partnered by the wide attacking duo of Hazard and Willian, with Pedro once again likely to start on the bench. The Spaniard might make an appearance in the second half, however.
Azpilicueta- Christensen- Luiz- Emerson
Willian- Higuain- Hazard
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