Maurizio Sarri rotated his team for the game against Brighton, and started several of the young stars who the fans have been so desperate to see. They performed well, were given a second chance on Monday against West Ham, and performed well again.
Now there’s no chance that Sarri will play them again, for a third time in 8 days, against Slavia Prague. That quarter final will see Pedro and Willian wheeled out on the wings. Gonzalo Higuain may play again, but only in the interests of keeping Olivier Giroud fresh for the weekend.
Because at this stage of the season every game matters, whether it’s a quarter final or a vital stretch run game in the Premier League. So both Sarri’s A team and his B team are needed in big games, and every player can feel like they’re playing important minutes.
But in fact, the way the rotation has lined up means that Hudson-Odoi is paired with Eden Hazard to play in the Premier League, with Loftus-Cheek also now in the “Premier League” template setup in midfield.
So fans are happy, with results improving and the players they like playing in the big games, and Sarri is happy; because the team is winning and he can play his favoured options in the Europa League final stages.