Predicted Chelsea starting XI to face Tottenham in the EFL Cup semi-final
With the realistic possibility of silverware still open for Sarri from three different tournaments, he will be eager to reach his first-ever cup final as the manager of Chelsea by overcoming the 1-0 deficit from the first leg of this Carabao Cup semi-final clash. Also, as a manager who is yet to win a major trophy in his career, the EFL Cup will be a welcome addition in Sarri’s first season in England.
Chelsea have a solid looking team available for selection tomorrow with just Ruben Loftus-Cheek as the only long-term injury concern.
Giroud and Morata are both fit so if Sarri wants to divert himself from playing Hazard as a false-9, he does have the option to do so.
Probable Chelsea XI
Manager: Maurizio Sarri
GK – Kepa Arizzabalaga
The unassailable first-choice goalkeeper at Chelsea was signed for a world-record fee in the summer. Has shown himself in a good light so far.
RB – Cesar Azpilicueta
Azpilicueta has developed as the leader of the squad at Stamford Bridge since Gary Cahill’s gradual exclusion. He will captain the Blues on Thursday.
RCB – Antonio Rudiger
Rudiger has been in fine form for Chelsea all campaign and has been solid. He is the perfect defender for Chelsea and could be here for a long time.
LCB – Andreas Christensen
Having played in all the cup games this campaign, expect the young Dane to start at Stamford Bridge on Thursday night.
LB – Emerson Palmieri
He has established himself as a good player to cover for Marcos Alonso. With the Spaniard playing every game, it could be the perfect time for Emerson to come in.
RCM – N’Golo Kante
Unquestionably the best defensive midfielder in the world, expect Kante to be in his usual right-sided central midfield position under Sarri.
CDM – Jorginho
He has slowly begun to struggle to keep up with the pace of the English game and his passing quality seems to have dropped off as well. A key player for Chelsea, it is crucial that he gets back into form at the earliest.
LCM – Ross Barkley
Kovacic started the derby against Arsenal in the league at the weekend, so expect Barkley to start in this position instead of the Croatian.
RW – Willian
He will be hoping to bounce back from a bad performance against Arsenal. Expect the more dynamic Brazilian to start ahead of Pedro.
CF – Olivier Giroud
Spurs didn’t show themselves in the best light against Fulham at the weekend where Mitrovic’s presence in the box caused all kinds of issues. Expect the big Frenchman to start this semi-final.
LW – Eden Hazard
The first name on the team sheet, he is Chelsea’s best player by a distance and has to turn up and work his magic if the Blues are to reach the final.