Maurizio Sarri is likely to provide Callum Hudson-Odoi a start against Huddersfield with Chelsea superstar Eden Hazard an option from the bench.
The season starts for Chelsea with a tricky away fixture against Huddersfield. An even more problematic situation is the fact that most of the Blues stars are yet to achieve match fitness, having returned to pre-season training later on due to the World Cup. Huddersfield, on the other hand, have most of their first-team stars fit and available.
Chelsea fans will likely not see a glimpse of their world-record signing Kepa Arrizabalaga. Maurizio Sarri remained coy in his pre-match conference, on the prospect of handing Kepa a start, which is likely to see Willy Caballero command the Chelsea goal against Huddersfield.
“I don’t know. He is in the players’ list for tomorrow, but I have to decide.”, Sarri said when asked about the prospect of Kepa starting in goal.
Sarri is expected to field a 4-3-3 formation, which means Chelsea fans will see their club revert to a four-man backline. With the four-man backline restored, Cesar Azpiliceuta is likely to be pushed towards the right, which is his natural position.
The Spaniard though, will have extra responsibility on his shoulders, with Sarri confirming that Azpilicueta will be donning the captain’s armband against Huddersfield. Rounding out the back four will be Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Marcos Alonso.
In midfield, Jorginho is a guaranteed starter. But, the Huddersfield game will come too soon for Mateo Kovacic. Jorginho should be partnered by Cesc Fabregas and Ross Barkley in midfield, with N’Golo Kante likely to be on the bench for the first game of the season.
Eden Hazard will also be on the bench, with the player not achieving match fitness. The situation though, would be a blessing in disguise for Chelsea fans, with Callum Hudson-Odoi likely to be afforded a start on the wing. Willian has stayed put, despite all the speculation, and the Brazilian should start on the right.
Alvaro Morata will have a huge responsibility on his shoulders, with Maurizio Sarri showing faith in his abilities by not signing another forward. The play will be orchestrated by Jorginho and the likes of Callum Hudson-Odoi and Willian will look to play Morata in on goal.