Chelsea will be desperate to forget about Sunday’s heavy defeat at the hands of Manchester City, as supporters were extremely disappointed with the performance.
Interestingly, the Blues will travel to the Swedbank Stadion to face Malmo in the first leg of their round of 32 Europa League tie later on today. Indeed, the Swedish side were impressive during the group stage as they managed to finish on nine points with only one loss to their name, so it won’t be an easy trip for Chelsea.
Maurizio Sarri has some big decisions to make prior to kick-off with the away leg proving crucial in terms of grabbing at least one away goal, so he must get his team selection right.
With that being said, this is how Chelsea can rip Malmo to shreds…
Willian, who is valued at £45 million (by Transfermarkt), has been simply sensational in the Europa League this season as one of the Blues’ standout performers, with two goals and two assists to his name in the six group games. Indeed, the only two group matches that the Brazilian wasn’t able to contribute in were substitute appearances.
Sarri simply can’t start the match without the attacker as he has too much quality to be wasting away on the substitutes’ bench in what is a big game for Chelsea.
The Blues could really benefit from having his pace and creativity in the final third, as it may prove difficult to unlock a Malmo side that will look to park men behind the ball for large parts. And, he’ll be sure to make the most of any opportunity that falls his way.
Pedro has established himself as a star at Stamford Bridge over the past couple of years as he pops up with valuable goals and has the ability to create something out of absolutely nothing.
However, the Spaniard wasn’t exactly at his best against Manchester City last time out, so Sarri needs to drop the winger to the substitutes’ bench for today’s game to bring in a bit more pace and quality in the form of Willian. And, Pedro currently only has one assist to his name in six Europa League appearances, so he’s done very little to deserve a starting place.
Sadly, the attacker has lacked end product at times and his energy levels have been down in recent weeks, which contributed towards the heavy defeat at the Etihad, so Chelsea can’t risk another lackluster performance today.
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