Picking the Best Potential Chelsea Lineup to Face BATE Borisov in the Europa League on Thursday

Chelsea face BATE Borisov in the Europa League on Thursday, with a win enough to secure the Blues’ place in the round of 32.

The London club are fresh off a 3-1 victory over Crystal Palace, courtesy of a brace by Alvaro Morata and a goal by Pedro, which lifted them to second on the Premier League table. 

Manager Maurizio Sarri fielded an unchanged lineup in the match at Stamford Bridge but is expected to rotate his squad against BATE.

Here’s a look at how the Italian could line his team up.

1. Goalkeeper & Defenders

Kepa Arrizabalaga (GK) – Chelsea’s number one has started in all three of his side’s Europa League matches thus far and is certain to continue between the sticks against BATE.

Davide Zappacosta (RB) – Captain César Azpilicueta is likely to be rested ahead of Sunday’s home match against Everton, making way for Zappacosta to start at right back.

Gary Cahill (CB) – The Englishman has largely featured in Chelsea’s cup fixtures this season, so expect him to return to the heart of their defence on Thursday.

Andreas Christensen (CB) – Has also started in all three of the Blues’ matches in Europe and is fit to make his fourth appearance.

Emerson Palmieri (LB) – The Brazilian full back completed 90 minutes in the reverse fixture and remains a good alternative to  first choice left back Marcos Alonso.

2. Midfielders

Mateo Kova?i? (CM) – Kova?i? will likely return to the Blues’ lineup with Sarri expected to rest Jorginho.

Cesc Fàbregas (CM) – Also likely to come in the place of N’Golo Kante, who has played in all 11 Premier League games this season.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek (AM) – Loftus-Cheek scored a hat-trick in the reverse fixture, so it’s fair to say that even he would be stunned to miss out on a start against BATE.

3. Forwards

Willian (RW) – Eden Hazard may have returned from injury against Crystal Palace but Sarri may find resting him from the start against BATE useful ahead of Chelsea’s next match.

Alvaro Morata (ST) – Three goals in his last two league games make Morata a hot pick and Sarri may find it difficult to drop him.

Pedro (LW) – A goal and an assist in the previous match puts the 31-year-old in contention to start in Belarus.

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