Predicted Chelsea line-up to face Huddersfield Town in the Premier League
The summer of 2018 is probably the most frustrating summer for the Chelsea fans in a decade. It was quite obvious that Antonio Conte was going to leave Chelsea but he was still there conducting initial training sessions as the pre-season started. Finally, Maurizio Sarri came in and he is expected to steady the ship.
Sarri, though he’s lost Courtois to Real Madrid, has signed a quality replacement in Kepa Arrizabalaga. The Chelsea team now looks quite strong with Jorginho and Kovacic in midfield.
In the same fixture last season, Chelsea ran out 3-1 winners at the John Smith stadium. But Huddersfield Town, against all odds, won their last away game of the season at the Stamford Bridge to officially confirm their stay in the Premier League.
Probable Chelsea XI
Manager: Maurizio Sarri
Willy Caballero (GK)
The Argentine international started for the Blues in the FA Community Shield and should retain his spot. New boy Kepa Arrizabalaga may not be ready for this game week and should probably start from the second gameweek of the season.
Marcos Alonso (LB)
The Spaniard has been one of the best left-backs in the league for almost two years now. He struggled against the pace and trickery of Riyad Mahrez in the Community Shield but his attacking prowess makes him a very dangerous player to deal with. He scored 7 goals and assisted twice last season, which also included 65 shots on goal, highest amongst the defenders for the Premier League.
David Luiz (CB)
The Brazilian started every pre-season game for Sarri so far and should start. After almost a year into the wilderness, Luiz seems to be finding his form.
Antonio Rudiger (CB)
Rudiger was the best of all Chelsea defenders in the game against City and should easily hold onto his spot, particularly in the absence of Gary Cahill.
Cesar Azpilicueta (RB)
Azpilicueta was arguably the best defender in the entire division last season. He plays as a right-back under Sarri and not as a CB. He hasn’t played as a full-back in more than two years and that’s the reason why he struggled to impose himself in the City game. But he is above Zappacosta in the pecking order and should lead Chelsea out against Huddersfield.
The Italian midfielder made his debut for Chelsea in the Community Shield and to say that it was a day to forget for Sarri’s first signing would actually be an understatement. Chelsea’s midfield was completely outrun by Bernado Silva and co. but this time around, Jorginho should have more control as Chelsea will have more of the possession.
Cesc Fabregas (CM)
Fabregas doesn’t have the legs anymore to run the whole length of the pitch but he still has that wand of a right foot to pick any player with his pass. In Kante’s absence, he should partner Jorginho in the midfield.
Callum Hudson-Odoi (LW)
The 17-year-old teenager has probably been the only bright spark in a not so bright pre-season for Chelsea. He has been fearless in taking on and running at defenders and should start on the left wing until Hazard gains full fitness.
Ross Barkley (CAM)
Barkley had an impressive start to the pre-season where he looked much fitter and sharper than he was under Conte. He seems to have gained Sarri’s trust at least for now, and will look to nail down a spot for the initial few weeks of the season.
The former Barcelona man has had a mixed pre-season so far. But Willian’s lack of match fitness should be enough for him to start on the right-hand side of the attack.
Alvaro Morata (ST)
Morata started the pre-season exactly in the same position where he left the last one – with absolutely zero confidence. For such a talented player, it’s such a shame to see him fail in all departments but for now, in Giroud’s absence, Sarri has to go with the Spaniard and hope that he discovers his form soon.