Following a shock 4-0 defeat at the hands of Bournemouth in midweek, Chelsea coach Maurizio Sarri will demand a response as the Blues host bottom club Huddersfield Town at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Chelsea team news
Gonzalo Higuain is a doubt heading into this game after Maurizio Sarri confirmed that the forward is struggling with lack of fitness following Chelsea’s defeat to Bournemouth in midweek. Aside from that, Sarri will have the privilege of choosing from a fully fit Chelsea squad this weekend.
Predicted Chelsea lineup vs Huddersfield Town (4-3-3)
Sarri is expected to rotate the backline against Huddersfield on Saturday, which means Marcos Alonso is likely to return to the side. The Spaniard will replace Emerson in the left-back position while Cesar Azpilicueta will retain his place on the opposite flank.
In central defence, David Luiz could be relegated to the bench in place of Andreas Christensen, who has been a subject of major transfer speculation this week, with both Bayern Munich and Juventus reportedly interested in his services.
The Dane will be partnered by Antonio Rudiger at the heart of the Chelsea defence. They will look to keep out the Huddersfield side, who have the worst scoring record in the league.
Kepa Arrizabalaga will remain the man between the sticks for the Blues as he searches for his 11th clean sheet of the campaign.
Minimal changes are expected in midfield, with the inclusion of Ross Barkley likely to be the only alteration this weekend.
The former Everton star might replace Mateo Kovacic and should be partnered by N’Golo Kante and Jorginho at the base of Chelsea’s 4-3-3. Barkley will be tasked with the responsibility of providing the creativity in midfield whilst facilitating the gameplay in the middle third with his forward passes.
Jorginho, on the other hand, has been one of Premier League’s top passers this season and the Italian international will play a key role in recycling possession against the Huddersfield press in midfield.
Higuain is expected to get back to full fitness before the kickoff on Saturday and could spearhead the Chelsea attack. The Argentine will be looking to score his first Premier League goal this weekend.
However, Eden Hazard could be deployed as the false nine, should Higuain fail to recover in time. If not, the Belgian will occupy the left-wing slot with Willian deployed on the opposite flank.
Callum-Hudson Odoi is another option on the wings Sarri could employ, especially if Hazard operates in the false nine role.