Chelsea will welcome London rivals Tottenham Hotspur to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, as they look to close the gap to the fourth place.
The Blues were beaten on penalties in the Carabao Cup at the weekend, and haven't played a league game since their 6-0 defeat against Manchester City over two weeks ago.
Maurizio Sarri is under increasing pressure, but the performance in the final was a step in the right direction, and they have been the third best team in the league according to some pundits.
Tottenham were beaten by Burnley at the weekend, all-but blowing their title hopes, and Chelsea look a value price to inflict another defeat on Spurs.
For Chelsea, the biggest talking point will be whether Kepa Arrizabalaga retains his place in goal after his act of defiance against Manchester City, the keeper refusing to be substituted late in extra time after twice going down injured.
The injury could even make the decision a moot point, should he not fully recover to face Spurs. Chelsea adopted a more defensive outlook at Wembley and it nearly paid off – they would be wise to repeat that system, though they could bring players Gonzalo Higuain in to provide fresh legs.
Chelsea is expected to make multiple changes, Arrizabalaga being one o them. New arrival Gonzalo Higuain didn't feature against City but could play a part in London derby replacing Pedro. Marcos Alonso could also start at left-back replacing Emerson.
The hosts have had a wonderful head-to-head record at the Stamford Bridge. Except for a lone loss, the team has remained unbeaten in all the other meetings which span more than twenty years.
A staggering 16 of the last 17 wins were registered by the team, and at this crucial juncture of the season, we can count on them to use this mental edge to their advantage. They have also scored two or more goals in 10 of their last 12 home ties against Tottenham.
Dele Alli is still on the sideline for Tottenham Hotspur, the midfielder would not be available for the clash against Chelsea due to injury.
Janssen is also injured and Eric Dier is doubtful for the clash. Harry Winks is likely to continue his fine form in the midfield alongside Moussa Sissoko, with Christian Eriksen positioned ahead.
Harry Kane made a goalscoring return against Burnley at the weekend and will be expected to start alongside other in-form forward Son Heung-min.
About the Author
Jeet Ghosh is a Football Journalist, living and working in Kolkata with 7 years of experience. He has also worked with Sportzwiki and India.com. Jeet is a sports lover but has special liking for football. He follows the football league’s around the world and is somewhat partial towards Real Madrid.