Chelsea go into tomorrow’s game in Baku with plenty of injury issues.
It’s been a while since our last competitive game, but since then Ruben Loftus-Cheek and N’Golo Kante have ruled themselves out of the game.
That means Maurizio Sarri has a lot of decisions to make – or in fact, a lot of those decisions are made for him.
Kepa in goal, Cesar Azpilicueta at right back, David Luiz and Andreas Christensen at centre back we can be fairly sure of. Emerson Palmieri still seems to have the edge over Marcos Alonso, especially against team with fast attackers like Arsenal.
In midfield, the lengthy injury list means that if Kante is indeed not fit, Ross Barkley, Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho will be the only fit senior players for those roles. What on earth we would do it it went to extra time we just don’t know…
Up front, of course Eden Hazard plays, and the other slots will be a toss up between Pedro and Willian on the other wing, and Gonzalo Higuain and Olivier Giroud up top.
Giroud would be the man most Chelsea fans would start, but his relationship with Sarri, as well as the fact that they both know this could be their last game, means we think sentiment might win out, knowing that a goal from Higuain in a win tomorrow would change the history of his short stay here, and may even convince us to keep him.
So it’s a flawed team that Sarri sends out, and one with nothing in reserve in midfield. Thank goodness we can name a 12 man subs bench…