Chelsea face Burnley on Monday night at Stamford Bridge, looking to move back into the top four.
The Blues have a chance to capitalise on Tottenham dropping points yesterday to Manchester City.
Chelsea come into this game on mixed form. They lost 2-0 in their last Premier League outing to Liverpool last Sunday. And they just scrapped through their Europa League quarter finals with a 4-3 second leg victory against Slavia Prague on Thursday night.
Their visitors Burnley come into this game with no fear, after winning their last Premier League game 2-0 last Saturday against Cardiff.
That result means that the Clarets are very nearly safe from relegation this season.
Any positive result at Stamford Bridge on Monday will certainly guarantee Premier League survival for next season.
Recent form in the Premier League;
This game is Monday Night Football, so is televised on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League tomorrow night.
Coverage starts at 7pm (UK time), with kick off being at 8pm (UK time),
Team News (Credit- Sportsmole)
Chelsea’s star man Eden Hazard limped off in the second half of Thursday’s win against Slavia Prague, but Sarri has allayed any fears of a possible layoff and the Belgian forward should be fit to start here.
Olivier Giroud was given 90 minutes in that Europa League tie, but Sarri has hinted that the striker cannot play two games in a row so Gonzalo Higuain should return for this one, assuming the Italian does not continue with the experiment of using Hazard through the middle.
There is also a decision to be made over who starts in the wide positions as Pedro starred against Slavia, but Willian and Callum Hudson-Odoi are also pushing for a start.
Sarri will be unable to call upon Antonio Rudiger due to an injury sustained against Liverpool last weekend, meanwhile, and Marcos Alonso is also carrying a knock, making the decision to use Emerson Palmieri at left-back a simple one.
As for the visitors, they remain without Peter Crouch, Aaron Lennon and Steven Defour, while Phil Bardsley is doubtful after missing the last few weeks with a leg injury.
Ashley Barnes and Wood, who has scored more Premier League goals than any other Burnley player (20) since the start of last season, have linked well in recent weeks and seem certain to start in tandem again on Monday.
In fact, with no fresh injury concerns, Dyche is unlikely to make any changes to a winning formula, meaning another start for in-form winger McNeil out wide.
Predicted starting elevens
Chelsea’s predicted starting XI (4-3-3)- Kepa; Azpilicueta, Luiz, Christensen, Emerson; Jorginho, Kante, Loftus-Cheek; Hudson-Odoi, Hazard, Higuain.
Burnley’s predicted starting XI (4-4-2)- Heaton; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Hendrick, Westwood, Cork, McNeil; Barnes, Wood.
Sarri on whether Hazard will be available for the Burnley game:
“I spoke to him at half-time and he had a big knock in the leg,” said Sarri.
“He told me I will try but I’m not sure I will finish the match, so I prefer to change him because we have to play another very important match in three or four days. I think it was better [to take him off].
“I think he will be fit. I have to speak with the doctor, so I am not sure, but my feeling is it is nothing serious.”
Burnley Manager: Sean Dyche (Quotes Credit- Official Burnley FC Twitter account)
“We have four important and tough games coming up, as do the others,” said the Burnley boss, whose side faces three of the top-four sides during the run-in.
“There’s lots to play for and we have to continue to play hard to get what we want.
“It’s not done until it’s done, but we are on a good run of three wins, very important wins, and good performances that have backed those up.
“Ideally we want to take care of ourselves. That’s what we’ve done historically. That’s our mindset.
“We want to look after ourselves and not rely on others, so that’s what we have to try and do.”
Head to Head record
These two sides have met 97 times in all competitions over the years, with Burnley edging the head to head record. The Clarets have beaten Chelsea 37 times in all competitions over the years. There have been 24 draws between these two sides in all competitions. And Chelsea have beaten the Clarets 36 times in all competitions over the years.
In terms of league head to head record solely- Burnley also have the better of Chelsea in that category. There have been 87 meetings in league competitions between these two sides over the years. The Clarets have beaten Chelsea 37 times in league competitions over the years, including their 3-2 win at the start of last season at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League.
There have been 18 draws between these sides in league competitions over the years. And Chelsea have beaten Burnley 32 times in league competitions, including their last game against Burnley.
This game ended up a 4-0 win for Chelsea at Turf Moor earlier this season in the Premier League.
Betting Odds/Match Predictions
Bet 365 have made Chelsea favourites to pick up three points from this encounter tomorrow night. A Chelsea win is being priced at 1/4. A draw between these two sides is being priced at 1/4. And a shock Burnley win which would probably end Chelsea’s top four hopes and would certainly mean the Clarets avoid relegation is being priced at 21/4.
My realistic prediction as a journalist for this game is a tight 2-1 Chelsea win.
My optimistic prediction as a Chelsea fan for this game is a 3-0 Chelsea win, with Higuain scoring a rare brace, and Loftus-Cheek also scoring another goal.
Comment down below your predicted line ups, and what you think the score will be on Monday night.
By Danyal Khan