Giroud to lead the line? – Predicted 4-3-3 Chelsea XI to face Slavia Prague in the Europa League

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Chelsea travel to Sinobo Stadium to face Slavia Prague on Thursday in the first leg of their quarter-final in the Europa League.

The Blues have been in good form of late in all competitions and advanced into the quarter-finals of the competition by beating Dynamo Kyiv 8-0 on aggregate. Maurizio Sarri will hope his boys do the job in Prague ahead of the second leg next week at Stamford Bridge.

As far as Slavia Prague are concerned, they are the surprise package of the competition and managed to eliminate Spanish giants Sevilla in the Round of 16.

Team News

Marcos Alonso missed the victory over West Ham on Monday with a hamstring problem and remains doubtful for the trip to Prague.

Other than Alonso, Sarri has no fresh injury concerns ahead of the game.

Probable Chelsea XI

Formation: 4-3-3

Manager: Maurizio Sarri

Kepa Arrizabalaga (GK)

The Spaniard is Chelsea’s first-choice keeper and is expected to be in the team on Thursday.

Davide Zappacosta (RB)

Zappacosta has been a regular fixture for the Blues in the Europa League and should start at right-back.

Andreas Christensen (CB)

Despite doing a good job against Brighton, Christensen was dropped to the bench in favour of Rudiger for the West Ham game. However, the Dane is expected to be recalled into the starting XI.

David Luiz (CB)

The Brazilian is Chelsea’s first-choice centre-back and should be in the XI against Dynamo Kyiv.

Emerson (LB)

With Alonso doubtful, Emerson should continue doing his job at left-back.

N’Golo Kante (CDM)

One of the best defensive midfielders in Europe, Kante will look to take control of the game in Prague with the first blow of the whistle.

Mateo Kovacic (RCM)

Kovacic suits the box-to-box role which allows him to dictate the tempo of the game, pick up the ball and drive into the final third. He’ll be eager to impress his manager on Thursday.

Ross Barkley (LCM)

Came as a substitute in the 2-0 victory over West Ham but he’ll be handed a start on Thursday.

Willian (LW)

Willian was an unused substitute against West Ham but is expected to start on the left at Slavia Prague.

Callum Hudson-Odoi (RW)

Hudson-Odoi has scored four goals in eight Europa League games and deserves to keep his place in the Chelsea starting XI.

Olivier Giroud (ST)

Under Maurizio Sarri this season, the Frenchman has had to make do with a bit-part role but when it comes to Europa League, Giroud is one of the first names on the team sheet.

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