Time to continue the Europa League journey!
Chelsea’s opponents in the quarter-finals of the Europa League are Slavia Praha. Slavia Praha are 1st in the Czech Premier League and are not to be mistaken with Sparta Prague who are a different team and 3rd. They are 7 points clear at the top of the table and have won 4 and drawn 1 of their last five games. Slavia had a tough tie against Sevilla in the round of 16 and just about got over the line with a 6-5 win on aggregate. The first leg was away at Sevilla and ended 2-2, the 2nd leg ended 4-3 after Sevilla had fought back but Slavia did not give up. Slavia are not a team to be taken lightly and having beaten a team like Sevilla that have so much Europa Leauge pedigree they are perhaps our toughest opponents yet.
Chelsea go into the tie having won their last 3 games something we have not managed since the beginning of the season when we won 5 in a row. Our Europa League journey has been fairly straight forward till now but in the latter stages things can always get cagey. With Slavia having a decent lead in their league they will come into this tie all guns blazing and Chelsea will have to rotate the squad smartly. With a league tie against Liverpool on Sunday Sarri has stated that he will rotate the squad. This is a smart move because if the tie still is in the balance we can always field a strong team at home and finish it off then.
Chelsea Team Preview
Kepa should start in goal, Zappacosta, Rudiger, Christensen, and Alonso should start in defence. Kovacic, Barkley, and Kante should start in the midfield, and Willian, Giroud, and Pedro should start upfront. It is not a lineup that produces excitement or confidence but this is what we get if players like CHO and RLC are to get more Premier League starts. The regulars should be on the bench if needed but hopefully we can manage without them.
A tough game but we should see it through. COME ON YOU BLUES!!!