Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has a full squad to choose from, as his team travel to the Etihad Stadium to take on champions Manchester City.
Chelsea will be aiming to wrestle back their position in the top four of the Premier League table, when they face off against title challengers Manchester City on Sunday evening.
The Blues slipped down to fifth after Manchester United defeated Fulham 0-3 on Saturday afternoon. And manager Maurizio Sarri will be hoping that his troops are able to build on their 5-0 thrashing of Huddersfield Town last weekend and make life difficult for Pep Guardiola’s side.
Chelsea have a clean bill of health going into the big game on Sunday, with Sarri confirming that Callum Hudson-Odoi and Gary Cahill are expected to be fit and available after slight problems earlier in the week.
“We have only some little problems with Odoi, he had fever for one day. Yesterday we had a little problem with Cahill, his back, but nothing serious. I think every player will be available. I hope so. We have to do another two trainings,” the Italian said in his pre-match press conference.
Chelsea have been rather predictable with their team selection this season and it is very much unlikely that Sarri would break the pattern for their trip to the Etihad. Kepa Arrizabalaga is a certainty to feature between the sticks for the Blues, but there could be one change in the backline in front of him.
Antonio Rudiger did not start last weekend against the Terriers, but is likely to be recalled for the game, with academy product Andreas Christensen set to make way. Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz and Marcos Alonso should hold on to their spots at the back.
Summer signing Jorginho is a key component of how Sarri sets his team up and the Italy international should hold on to his spot at the base of the three-man midfield for the Blues. N’Golo Kante has been an ever-present in the starting XI and that is unlikely to change against the champions.
Mateo Kovacic and Ross Barkley will contest for the third midfield slot for Chelsea against City. But, the latter is likely to get the nod over the Real Madrid loanee, after his enterprising display against Huddersfield last time out.
Eden Hazard was the star of the show for Chelsea in their win over the Terriers and Sarri will be hoping that the Belgian wing-wizard will be able to have a similar impact from the left flank against City. Brazilian attacker Willian is likely to hold on to his place on the right-side ahead of Pedro and Hudson-Odoi.
January signing Gonzalo Higuain opened his goalscoring account for Chelsea with a brace against Huddersfield Town and Sarri hailed the Argentine’s impact in his pre-match presser.
“I think that Gonzalo is a great player. He did very well everywhere, in Madrid, Naples and Milan, maybe not Milan. It is important for us he is determined, the impact is really very good for us,” the Italian said.
The former Real Madrid superstar should continue to lead the line for Chelsea ahead of Olivier Giroud at the Etihad.