TheSportsRush brings Chelsea’s expected lineup vs PAOK, as they begin their Europa League campaign under Maurizio Sarri.
Following a rampant 4-1 victory over Cardiff City, the Blues turn their attentions to continental action. They travel to Greece to take on PAOK at the Stadio Toumbas in their opening fixture of the UEFA Europa League on Thursday evening. Maurizio Sarri’s side has a 100% record in the Premier League and will hope to replicate the same against its Greek opponents. We take a look at the probable lineup that the Italian boss could field.
Chelsea’s record signing Kepa has started all Premier League games this season, but this time it looks like Willy Caballero is set to start between the sticks. Gary Cahill, Andreas Christensen, Davide Zappacosta and Emerson Palmieri are all looking as contenders to start the second tier European match in an entirely re-shuffled defensive line.
Chelsea’s midfielders have been amazing in the Premier League, but the fixture against PAOK could a chance for some of the second fiddle players to make a case for them. Ruben Loftus-Cheek has not got chances in the Premier League as is the case with Cesc Fabregas. Hence, both the potentially forgotten men could get their chance to break in the Europa League starting on Thursday. Ross Barkley who has gone out of favour since Kovacic’s arrival in the Premier League might get playing time from the first minute versus PAOK.
Chelsea boast one of the most lethal attacks in the Premier League. However, the main man who is responsible for it- Eden Hazard- is set to be rested. As a result, Callum Hudson-Odoi is likely to replace him and Alvaro Morata looking set for a run as the striker having missed out on minutes against Cardiff City.
Willian who was on the scoresheet last weekend could join the two fringe players in a three man attack.
CHELSEA’S EXPECTED LINEUP: