Chelsea will be looking to extend their winning run to four matches in all competitions when they welcome Wolverhampton Wanderers to Stamford Bridge in the Premier League on Sunday.
The Blues continued their rich vein of form on Thursday night with a convincing 3-0 win over Dynamo Kyiv in the Europa League in south-west London.
It was a game which gives them a huge advantage heading into next week’s return leg in Ukraine, however, their recent fortunes against Nuno Espirito Santo’s Wolves are not as favourable, having seen their unbeaten start to the league season come to an end at Molineux in December.
As Sarri prepares his side for what will already be their third match in March, here is who we believe will start for the Blues.
Predicted line-up: (4-3-3) Kepa Arrizabalaga; Cesar Azpilicueta, Antonio Rudiger, David Luiz, Emerson; N’Golo Kante, Jorginho, Ross Barkley; Pedro, Gonzalo Higuain, Eden Hazard
Predicted substitutes: Willy Caballero, Andreas Christensen, Mateo Kovacic, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Willian, Olivier Giroud
Kepa Arrizabalaga kept his first clean sheet for Chelsea since his bust-up with manager Maurizio Sarri in the Carabao Cup final last month against Dynamo and will look to earn his first in the Premier League for four appearances against Wolves.
Much of Sarri’s side that faced Dynamo was rotated, allowing some players a breather, including the defensive trio of Cesar Azpilicueta, Antonio Rudiger and Emerson, who are all likely to return in place of Davide Zappacosta, Andreas Christensen and Marcos Alonso respectively, with David Luiz set to make up the back four.
The midfield set of N’Golo Kante, Jorginho and Ross Barkley all featured for less than 65 minutes against Dynamo and in his post-match press conference, Sarri alluded to this trio starting against Wolves, which would see Kante start in place of Mateo Kovacic.
Despite firing in a glorious free-kick against his former arch-rivals in Ukrainian top-flight football, Willian is likely to be spared given Sarri’s recent rotational merry go round, meaning Eden Hazard and Gonzalo Higuain could replace the Brazilian and Olivier Giroud respectively, starting alongside Pedro.
Wolves proved in December that they have the capabilities to overcome Chelsea, but given the Blues’ recent hot streak, that may prove to be easier said than done.
Score prediction: Chelsea 2-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers