Chelsea begin their Europa League campaign with a game against PAOK Salonika at Toumba stadium. This match presents an ideal opportunity for Maurizio Sarri to rest some of his first-teamers.
The Blues play West Ham next weekend before facing Liverpool twice, once in the Carabao Cup and then in the league.
Hence, it is necessary for the Blues to provide their first-choice players with a break.
Chelsea have won every game in the Premier League this season and should be high on confidence. Here’s the predicted line-up for the clash against the Greek side.
Predicted Chelsea XI
Manager: Maurizio Sarri
Willy Caballero (GK)
Kepa Arrizabalaga could get a break, meaning Caballero could start ahead of Rob Green in Greece.
Davide Zappacosta (RB)
The Italian got a few minutes in the last game and should receive a start in place of Cesar Azpilicueta.
Andreas Christensen (CB)
The youngster deserves some minutes and Sarri should rest Antonio Rudiger and David Luiz for this clash.
Gary Cahill (CB)
Cahill hasn’t played a single minute for the team this season but he must get a run-out against the minnows on Thursday.
Emerson Palmieri (LB)
The Brazilian could be fit for the clash against PAOK. He is certain to get game time, as Marcos Alonso needs to be rested.
Ross Barkley (CM)
The former Everton midfielder was a sub in our last game against Cardiff but should start for our Europa League opener.
Danny Drinkwater (CM)
Drinkwater hasn’t started this season, making this the perfect opportunity for the former Leicester City man to impress.
Cesc Fabregas (CM)
Starting Fabregas could be risky due to his recent comeback from injury. But we have to rotate the side and keep things fresh for a packed schedule ahead.
Following Eden Hazard’s stellar displays in recent times, it makes sense to rest him and start Pedro on the left-wing.
Alvaro Morata (ST)
Olivier Giroud was excellent in the win over Cardiff. However, Morata could receive a chance to showcase his abilities in our tie against PAOK.
The Brazilian hasn’t started as many games this season but was impressive in his cameo against Cardiff. Might get a start on Thursday.