Ngolo Kante
Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Chelsea take on Cardiff City at the weekend with Maurizio Sarri’s men desperately scrapping for points in the race for top four.

Cliche it may be, Chelsea find themselves in a situation in which every game is a cup final. Every time the players take to the turf, they have to ensure they’re leaving it with no regrets.

Chelsea have dropped points all too cheaply over the last weeks and months, which leaves us in sixth place with just eight games left to be played. We have to win against Cardiff on Sunday – there can be no excuses.

Team News

As per Physio Room, three Chelsea players are at risk of missing out on our clash with relegation battling Cardiff through injury.

Davide Zappacosta is continuing his recovery from an ankle injury, meaning it’s at this point unclear whether he will be available for selection.

Both Ethan Ampadu and Ruben Loftus-Cheek were forced to withdraw from their respective national squads through injury. They two are both considered doubts for the contest.

On a brighter note, Sarri can sleep easy knowing that all of his usual starters made it through the international break unharmed. He has a strong squad at his disposal.

Betting

Chelsea are backed as clear favourites for the win at 2/5 with bet365 and Cardiff come in at 8/1. The draw is priced at 16/5, alternatively you can use these betting sites to find more odds on the game.

Predicted XI

Kepa Arrizabalaga, who is near certain to start between the sticks, will be chasing his 12th clean sheet of the Premier League campaign during our trip to Wales.

On-field captain Cesar Azpilicueta will start at right-back, with Antonio Rudiger and David Luiz unlikely to be broken up at this stage of the season.

It’s very much a toss-up for who starts on the left of defence, but we’d like to see Emerson Palmieri be given the nod. He certainly deserves it.

In midfield, Jorginho will occupy the deepest role, joined by N’Golo Kante, with Ross Barkley, hot off a two-goal performance vs. Montenegro, likely to be given a shot at extending his run of good form.

Moving onto attack, there’ll probably be no opportunity for Callum Hudson-Odoi to impress. Pedro and Eden Hazard are our predictions to start on the flanks, with Gonzalo Higuain through the middle.

Full predicted XI:

Kepa, Azpi, Rudi, Luiz, Emerson, Jorginho, N’Golo, Barkley, Pedrito, Eden, Higuain. Let us know your thoughts on Twitter @TalkChelsea

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