Getting back to winning ways!
Chelsea return to club football with a trip to Wales to play Cardiff City who are 18th in the league. Cardiff have 28 points and have won only 1 of their last 4 games. With Fulham and Huddersfield looking likely to finish 19th and 20th respectively Cardiff are in a fight with the rest of the teams to survive relegation. Cardiff are two points behind 17th placed Burnley and a win could see them climb out of the relegation zone if Burnley or Southampton lost but their need for a win comes with Chelsea’s visit.
Chelsea have had a rollercoaster ride of a season and find themselves 6th and 4 points behind Tottenham who are 3rd. Chelsea had a great opportunity to make a case for a top four finish but they squandered it with the loss to Everton. Chelsea now head into the final 8 games of season needing wins in every possible game with the fight for 3rd and 4th very close. Cardiff, Brighton, and West Ham are the teams that Chelsea play before a trip to Liverpool and Chelsea need to get 9 points out of 9 to take to Anfield. The international break was favourable to Chelsea as there were no injuries and several Chelsea players performed well. Hazard scored 3 goals over two games, Barkley scored two goals and assisted a couple, Hudson-Odoi made his debut for England and got an assist, and Rudiger, Kante, and Giroud were brilliant for Germany, and France respectively. Pre match Sarri’s press conference was dominated by questions about CHO and whether he now would get a chance to start for Chelsea in the League. Sarri stated that over the next 8 games CHO would start 2 or 3 games and next season he will be involved in 80-85% of the games or 30-35 games. Sarri also reiterated his lack of interest for international games and stated that Montenegro were really Europa League opposition and the Premier League was harder to which I would have to agree. It’s great that CHO might get minutes and starts next season but It would be even better that he started more games now considering he is the 2nd best winger we have in the team. Sarri might feel the pressure of playing Pedro, and Willian ahead of CHO with the risk of a poor performance by CHO potentially damaging his confidence and Chelsea’s potential win. The same fans that cry for CHO to start would also bite Sarri’s head off if CHO made a game changing mistake. CHO should start and Sarri would only do himself good but the most important thing is the win and a place in the top four.
Chelsea Team Preview
Chelsea have a full squad to select from and so Kepa should start in goal, Azpi, Rudiger, Luiz, and Emerson should start in defence. I would like to see Christensen start but Luiz should get the nod. Loftus-Cheek should accompany Jorginho, and Kante if he is fit otherwise Barkley should start. CHO should start upfront but the more likely scenario is that Pedro starts ahead of Hazard, and Higuain.
Cardiff City Team Preview
Paterson and Bamba are out for the season with Bamba’s injury especially being a massive miss. Connolly is also not fit for the game.
Starting XI Prediction
It’s simple if Chelsea score first Chelsea are more likely to win the game and if Cardiff score first then it could go south. Chelsea have to score first and win this game. COME ON YOU BLUES!!!