MX23RW : Tuesday, March 26 01:12:33

Sarri hopes to avoid Europa League hangover as Chelsea face Southampton

The Blues manager made eight changes for the 1-0 win against Hungarian champions Vidi.

Maurizio Sarri hopes to avoid a Europa League hangover in Sunday’s Premier League clash at Southampton.

Chelsea dropped points for the first time this season after their opening Europa League win at PAOK in Greece, drawing 0-0 at West Ham.

Sarri made eight changes for Thursday’s 1-0 win over Hungarian champions Vidi in the second Europa League game and is optimistic there will be no ill-effects at Saints.

The 59-year-old Italian head coach said: “This match we have changed eight players. In Greece I think only five. I hope we can do better this time.”

Alvaro Morata scored for the second time this season against Vidi
Alvaro Morata scored for the second time this season against Vidi (Nigel French/PA)

Alvaro Morata’s goal proved the difference against Vidi.

It was just the striker’s second goal of the season, after he spurned a host of chances earlier in the game.

Sarri is credited with bringing the fun back to Chelsea, but Morata was tearful after finding the net.

Asked if the striker should have more fun, Sarri said: “They have to enjoy, but I want to enjoy myself first of all. Usually I have more fun when I win. I don’t know why.”

N'Golo Kante is expected to return for Chelsea after a rare midweek rest
N’Golo Kante is expected to return for Chelsea after a rare midweek rest (Victoria Jones/PA)

Eden Hazard is expected to start, with Sarri likely to revert to his first-choice line-up as he seeks to maintain Chelsea’s unbeaten start.

Defenders Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Antonio Rudiger and Marcos Alonso are set to return as the Blues chase a sixth win from eight games.

Olivier Giroud is likely to replace Morata and Jorginho is anticipated to come in for Cesc Fabregas, with N’Golo Kante also likely to be back in the starting XI.

Willian or Pedro will likely be in competition for one place alongside Giroud and Hazard.

Mateo Kovacic played the full 90 minutes against Vidi, so could drop to the substitutes’ bench, with Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek options in midfield.


Click here for more stories about Chelsea

Share this article now:

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
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

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account