Chelsea host Crystal Palace this Sunday and with things so tight at the top of the Premier League, the Blues will know anything short of three points will be a big loss.
Chelsea thrashed Burnley 4-0 last time out in the league, and a midweek win which saw them reach the Carabao Cup quarterfinals should have them feeling pretty good about themselves.
Here’s how Sarri’s men may line up.
1. Goalkeeper & Defence
Kepa Arrizabalaga (GK) – Often when a massive transfer fee is paid for a new goalkeeper, every mishandled catch, semi-flapped at cross, and poorly place pass is scrutinised to death. Yet Kepa has had so little of this type of attention; he must be doing something right.
Marcos Alonso (LB) – Everyone knew how good Alonso was at left wing back, but there were plenty who doubted his ability to play the more conservative role of a full back. Turns out the role change hasn’t affected his game very much at all.
David Luiz (CB) – Forgotten and discarded by Conte, redeemed and re-loved by Sarri. One Italian manager’s trash is another Italian manager’s treasure.
Antonio Rudiger (CB) – He’s been very good of late and looks more than capable of keeping the ageing Gary Cahill and the promising Andreas Christiansen out of the team.
Cesar Azpilicueta (RB) – One of the most reliable players in the game. The Spaniard doesn’t miss games like these…he doesn’t really miss any league games, does he?
Ross Barkley (CM) – What can we say about Ross Barkley? A man undergoing a renaissance. A man whose £15m transfer fee was an absolute bargain. A man with three league goals and three league assists this season. Not bad.
Jorginho (CM) – If he does his thing, which he will do, then Chelsea will dictate the tempo of the game for the most part. Palace will have to be focused at all times.
N’Golo Kante (CM) – The little French midfielder will go about his usual game, harrying the opposition and breaking up counter attacks all day long. Though, with Jorginho the deepest midfield man now, Kante will be involved a little further up the field that most would position him.
Eden Hazard (LW) – He should be back from injury. He should be a delight to watch; unless you’re a Palace fan of course.
Alvaro Morata (ST) – The oft-ridiculed Spaniard took his goal very nicely last week and with Olivier Giroud still a doubt, Morata should lead the line.
Willian (RW) – A couple of goals and a couple of assist in the league this season for the Brazilian. He’ll see this derby as an opportunity to add to his tally.