08 August 2019 07:03
Chelsea smashed Dinamo Kiev 5-0 in the Europa League last night, and while they were hardly up to much in attack, it was a clean sheet for the defence of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen. The hectic fixtures recently have meant that Christensen, the third choice in the position this season, has actually ended up playing 3 of 4 games as Sarri has saved his first choice pair of David Luiz and Rudiger for bigger games. What has happened, though is that Christensen and Rudiger have been looking better and better, creating question marks about whether Brazilian legend Luiz should come back in. Of course he has the pedigree, and some of the things he's done with the ball at his feet this season have been quite amazing. But there's no denying the pair out there last night looked pretty solid, and that Luiz's error proneness always mean that managers are looking for a better option.
We don't expect it to change soon, but AC has shown his manager repeatedly this month that he's pushing for more time. Hazard, Kanté, Higuaín dropped to the Chelsea bench Eden Hazard is only on the bench for Chelsea as they host Dynamo Kiev on Thursday evening. The Belgian is replaced by Pedro as Maurizio Sarri rotates his team. David Luiz, Davide Zappacosta and Marcos Alonso replace Antonio Rüdiger, Cesar Azpilicueta and Emerson in defence. There is also a change in midfield, where Mateo Kovacic replaces N'Golo Kanté.
Eden Hazard is given a breather ahead of Sunday's Premier League clash with Wolves while Gonzalo Higuain also drop to the bench with Pedro and Willian supporting Olivier Giroud in attack. Youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi must therefore make-do with a place among the substitutes. Kepa keeps his place between the sticks with Willy Caballero named on the bench. Here are the confirmed line-ups: Chelsea Kepa, Zappacosta, Christensen, Luiz, Alonso, Barkley, Jorginho, Kovacic, Pedro, Giroud, Willian. Subs: Caballero, Rudiger, Kante, Higuain, Hazard, Loftus-Cheek, Hudson-Odoi.