Chelsea will resume Premier League action tomorrow afternoon against Javi Gracia’s Watford as their quest for top four spots continues.
The Blues are coming off the back of three consecutive draws with the latest being a 1-1 stalemate against Eintracht Frankfurt in the away leg of their Europa League tie.
Maurizio Sarri’s men will go into the game aware of the fact that a win against the Hornets will take them to the third spot in the table rendering their qualification for next season’s UEFA Champions League all but certain.
However, it will be tougher said than done.
Javi Gracia’s Watford have been highly impressive this season making it to the finals of the FA Cup and just three points shy of 8th place Everton.
So with such a crucial fixture in mind, Here are three changes Sarri is expected to make to the lineup that starts against Watford.
Marcos Alonso: In/ Emerson:Out
Emerson has enjoyed decent playing time in recent weeks courtesy the dip in form and fitness of Marcos Alonso but Sarri will look to his number one choice left back in a fixture as crucial as tomorrows.
Alonso started and scored for Chelsea against Manchester United and Chelsea fans will be hoping that goal kickstarts an upturn in fortune for the Spaniard.
Eden Hazard: In/ Willian: Out
Well, this one is a no brainer.
It was a little bit surprising that the Belgian was left out of the starting lineup against Frankfurt but it is certain that he’ll be back to the XI against the Hornets.
The only question remains is that who does he replace?
Willian took a strong knock against Manchester United and looked a wee-bit off colour against Frankfurt whilst Pedro, on the other hand, scored the equaliser rounding up an impressive outing hence the Spaniard is expected to get the nod.
Gonzalo Higuain: In/Olivier Giroud: Out
Now, this is where the bulk of Maurizio Sarri’s criticism derives from.
Sarri’s protege Gonzalo Higuain’s spell at Stamford Bridge has been underwhelming so far as he’s managed only four goals since January but given the tactical stubbornness Sarri has displayed all season, Higuain is expected to get every chance available to redeem himself before the end of the season.
Expected Chelsea XI to face Watford: Kepa, Alonso, Christensen, Luiz, Azpilicueta, Jorginho, Kante, Loftus-Cheek, Hazard, Pedro, Higuain.