With Eden Hazard missing the last two games in the Europa League and Premier League with a back injury, it’s once again expected that the club’s top goalscorer will sit out of the game – even if he is fit enough to play.
Chelsea are unlikely to take any risks with Eden Hazard with an important fixture list ahead, and players such as Pedro and Callum Hudson-Odoi could potentially slot in to replace the Belgian, with the two available and waiting for more game time.
Maurizio Sarri is likely to favour Frenchman Olivier Giroud up-front, with the 32-year old frustratingly failing to get on the scoresheet at the weekend – Alvaro Morata is set to drop to the bench.
The same defence that started in the Europa League last week is likely to be re-drafted in – meaning more minutes for supposedly want away defenders Andreas Christensen, Gary Cahill and Davide Zappacosta.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek who has now scored four in two fixtures is likely to start, along with Ross Barkley who has started to find form similar to his best back at Everton a few seasons back – the 24-year old has three goals and four assists this term.
Players like Willian, N’Golo Kante, David Luiz and Pedro are expected to be dropped from the predicted Chelsea line up, with the fringe players expected to put in a shift ahead of a full schedule of fixtures in the coming weeks.
Predicted Chelsea Line Up vs Derby XI
Goalkeeper: Willy Caballero
Defenders: Davide Zappacosta, Gary Cahill, Andreas Christensen, Emerson.
Midfielders: Ross Barkley, Cesc Fabregas, Mateo Kovacic, Victor Moses, Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
Striker: Olivier Giroud.
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