Chelsea host Huddersfield at home, looking to bounce back from their embarrassing 4-0 midweek defeat on the South Coast against Bournemouth.
Sarri will be looking for a big reaction from his team, after claiming again that the players ‘are difficult to motivate ‘ in his post-match interview against Bournemouth midweek.
Prior to the the shocker on the South Coast. Chelsea were in good form, progressing in both the Carabao Cup and FA Cup.
On the Other hand, things look very bleak for Huddersfield now, as they fell to a 0-1 defeat at home to a 10 men Everton.
The loss midweek left Huddersfield with 11 points after 24 League games. The Terriers are now 12 points from safety.
Can Jan Siewert’s side shock the Blues at the Bridge on Saturday and start their recovery process?
Or will Sarri’s side bounce back?
Premier League form
Huddersfield – L/L/D/L/L
Emerson Palmieri was handed a first league start of the season at the Vitality Stadium but will likely be replaced by Marcos Alonso here, while Andreas Christensen – assuming he does not depart on deadline day – is an option to replace either Antonio Rudiger or David Luiz in the heart of defence.
Elsewhere, Callum Hudson-Odoi is pushing for a recall after dropping out of the squad entirely in midweek and Mateo Kovacic‘s spot in midfield is also under threat.
In terms of the visitors, Aaron Mooy made a welcome return to action from the bench against Everton and is now in contention to start for the first time since December 8 following Australia’s recent Asian Cup exit.
Philip Billing has less chance of featuring, though, having sat out his side’s last two games with a knee injury, so Jason Puncheon may continue to operate in central midfield.
Another new signing in Karlan Grant, brought in from Charlton Athletic this week, is expected to be part of the Terriers’ travelling squad.
Predicted starting eleven’s
Chelsea predicted eleven- Kepa, Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Christensen, Alonso, Kante, Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek, Hudson-Odoi, Higuain, Hazard.
Huddersfield predicted eleven- Lossl, Smith, Zanka, Schindler, Kongolo, Puncheon, Hogg, Mooy, Kachunga, Mounie, Diakhaby.
Chelsea Manager: Maurizio Sarri (Quotes Credit- BBC Sport)
Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri, asked whether his side should have a ‘Plan B’ tactically: “Why? First of all, I want to do very well the plan A, I think. I don’t want to change something that at the moment doesn’t work very well.
“First of all, I want to see my football played very well, then we can go to change something.”
Huddersfield Manager: Jan Siewert (Quotes Credit- BBC Sport)
“There is never a good time [to play Chelsea] – this is just the task we are given.
“For me it was the possibility to observe Chelsea [in midweek], so I know the situation and I know they have difficulties.
“I saw some situations in which they were vulnerable, but to be honest it will be a totally different game. I know Maurizio Sarri is a fantastic manager and we have to face everything which they give us.”
Head to Head
These two sides have met 67 times over the years, with Chelsea just about having the better head to head record. Chelsea have beaten Huddersfield 30 times in all competitions. There have been 10 draws between these two sides over the years in all competitions. Huddersfield have surprisingly beaten the Blues 27 times in all competitions over the years.
In terms of League head to head record, both teams have beaten each other 25 times.
In terms of most recent meeting between these two teams in the League, it came on the first day of the season, where Sarri’s new Chelsea beat the Terriers 1-3 at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Betting Odds/My Prediction
Bet 365 have made Chelsea clear favourites to collect the 3 points from this encounter on Saturday. A Blues win is being priced at 1/6. A draw between these two sides is being priced at 13/2. And a shock Terriers win is being priced at 12/1.
My realistic prediction is a 2-1 tight Chelsea win.
My optimistic prediction is a 5-0 Chelsea win. I hope that the team bounce back emphatically after the embarrassment that they suffered on the South Coast this week. I am hoping for a Higuain hatrick and Hazard to get a goal. I also think Hudson-Odoi will get a goal in this game.
Leave me your predictions down below in the comments.
By Danyal Khan