Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Chelsea 4-3-3 Strong XI to face Brighton-Loftus-Cheek Hudson-Odoi to start?

Chelsea will welcome Chris Hughton’s Brighton & Hove Albion to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night, as they continue to fight for a place in the top four of the Premier League. The Blues come into the game seated sixth on the league table, a point behind Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United, who occupy the fourth and fifth spots, respectively and three below Arsenal who sit third. Should other results go their way, Maurizio Sarri’s men can go into the weekend occupying the fourth spot with a win. However, Chelsea’s recent performances in the English top-flight are a slight cause of concern. The West London outfit escaped with a lucky 2-1 win over Cardiff City this past weekend and were without a win in their previous two league matches (D1 L1). A victory is a must on Wednesday, if they want to not lose important ground in the top four race. Brighton & Hove Albion, on the other hand, come into the game in the 15th position in the Premier League standings, after their 1-0 defeat to Southampton this past weekend. The Seagulls are five points clear of the drop zone but do need to a few more positive results to ensure their safety. The last time Brighton faced Chelsea, they were beaten 2-1 and they will be hoping to avoid a similar result when they travel to Stamford Bridge. Chris Hughton’s side, however, will have an eye on their impending FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City at the weekend, which could prove to be a distraction for the visitors. Team News & Tactics Chelsea

Sarri drew a lot of criticism for his team selection against Cardiff City at the weekend, with the Italian deciding to drop the likes of Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante out of the starting XI, while Callum-Hudson Odoi’s non-involvement also didn’t go down all too well with the fans. All of them are likely to be back in the lineup for Wednesday’s game. Marcos Alonso is a doubt for the game having picked up a hamstring problem in the weekend game. Other than that, there are no major injury/suspension concerns for Chelsea heading into the midweek clash. No changes are expected in goal, with Kepa Arrizabalaga the established first-choice for the West Londoners. Cesar Azpilicueta, who scored one of Chelsea’s two goals against Cardiff, will continue at right-back, while Emerson Palmieri is set to start on the opposite flank. Antonio Rudiger should continue at the heart of the Blues’ defence, but Andreas Christensen could get a start in place of David Luiz.
Kante should be reinstated to the three-man midfield, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek is also likely to be rewarded with a start after his match-winning goal against Cardiff City, meaning Ross Barkley and Mateo Kovacic are set to drop out. Jorginho will continue in the deep-lying role, but needs to improve on his recent displays. Up ahead in attack, wholesale changes are likely to take place with Hudson-Odoi and Hazard set to start on the right and left flanks respectively, while Olivier Giroud should get the nod ahead of the misfiring Gonzalo Higuain as the lone striker.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Kepa; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Christensen, Emerson; Kante, Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek; Hudson-Odoi, Giroud, Hazard


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