MX23RW : Friday, March 22 06:55:09

How Chelsea could line up against PAOK

Ahead of Thursday's Europa League clash between PAOK and Chelsea, Sports Mole looks at how the English giants could line up.

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri is expected to heavily rotate his team for Thursday's Europa League clash against PAOK in a bid to keep his squad fresh during a busy period of the season.

The Blues have made a flying start to the new Premier League campaign, winning each of their five matches to sit top of the table on 15 points.

The Europa League is not the European competition that Chelsea would have wanted to be competing in this season, but that is the case, and Sarri will see it as the perfect chance to hand players much-needed minutes.

Chelsea's next three matches after this one are against West Ham United and Liverpool, with the Blues taking on Jurgen Klopp's side in both the Premier League and EFL Cup.

Here, Sports Mole takes a look at how Chelsea could line up against PAOK.



Possible CHE XI vs. PAOK
Out: Marco van Ginkel (knee)
Doubtful: Mateo Kovacic (thigh), Cesc Fabregas (knee), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (heel)

With such a busy run of matches to come, there is no question that Chelsea boss Sarri will shuffle his pack for the clash in Greece on Thursday night.

On-loan Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic is a doubt with the thigh injury that he picked up in Saturday's 4-1 win over Cardiff City, while Marco van Ginkel is a long-term absentee.

Sarri does have a number of midfield options to choose from, however, and Cesc Fabregas, Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are among those hopeful of earning starts.

Further forward, Alvaro Morata's spot in the XI has already been confirmed, while youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi should also be handed more valuable minutes in a wide position.

There will also be changes in goal and at the back, with Willy Caballero, Gary Cahill and Andreas Christensen all in line to feature for the English giants in their Group L opener.

> Click here to see how PAOK could line up for this fixture

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Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek in action during a pre-season friendly with Lyon in August 2018
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool31237170185276
2Manchester CityMan City30242479215874
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs30201957322561
4Arsenal30186663392460
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd30177658401858
6Chelsea30176750331757
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves30128103836244
8Watford30127114244-243
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham31126134146-542
10Leicester CityLeicester31125144043-341
11Everton31117134342140
12Bournemouth31115154356-1338
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3198143140-935
14Crystal Palace3096153641-533
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2996143242-1033
16Southampton3079143450-1630
17Burnley3186173559-2430
18Cardiff CityCardiff3084182757-3028
19Fulham3145222970-4117
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield3135231857-3914

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