Chelsea host Slavia Prague at Stamford Bridge on Thursday for the second leg of the Europa League quarter final tie.
The Blues have a 1-0 advantage going into the match thanks to Marcos Alonso’s crucial away goal in the 86th minute in Prague, with Maurizio Sarri hoping for an immediate response to Sunday’s Premier League defeat to Liverpool.
There’s competition for places in midfield and up front due to the fixture congestion at the business end of the season, as Mateo Kovacic and Ross Barkley look to return to the starting lineup after taking watching the last match from the sidelines.
Goalkeeper and Defenders
Kepa Arrizabalaga (GK) – Kepa currently has the most clean sheets in the Europa League this season, with seven from nine games.
Cesar Azpilicueta (RB) – Chelsea have conceded just one goal with Azpilicueta on the pitch in the Europa League this campaign.
Andreas Christensen (CB) – Replaced the injured Rudiger in the first half on Sunday, the 23-year-old is in line to make his 12th start in as many Europa League games.
David Luiz (CB) – An unused substitute in Prague, but Rudiger’s injury means Luiz should marshal the Blues’ defence on Thursday.
Marcos Alonso (LB) – Missed the trip to Anfield with a thigh problem but the first leg’s match-winner could return to the starting lineup at Stamford Bridge.
Jorginho (DM) – Although the Blues’ fan base remains divided on their opinion of the Italian, as long as Sarri is still in charge, Jorginho will continue at the base of Chelsea’s midfield.
Mateo Kovacic (CM) – Kovacic should be fresh after watching from the bench at Anfield, with Sarri publicly calling for the club to make his loan move permanent this summer.
Ross Barkley (CM) – Ruben Loftus-Cheek‘s fitness is being continuously monitored after returning from a back injury, and three consecutive league starts may indicate that Barkley will be preferred on Thursday.
Pedro Rodriguez (RW) – Another whose fresh legs are likely to be needed at Stamford Bridge as the only Chelsea winger who didn’t feature in the Liverpool defeat.
Olivier Giroud (ST) – Giroud‘s time on the pitch continues to be limited to the Europa League, despite being the competition’s top scorer with nine goals in ten games.
Callum Hudson-Odoi (LW) – The 19-year-old has finally been given a run in the side by Sarri and no player has completed more dribbles (30) in the Europa League this season.