Eintracht Frankfurt vs Chelsea: The start of four (or five) cup finals for Chelsea under Maurizio Sarri.

Tonight, is the start of the biggest four (hopefully five) games of our season. Putting disappointment of our indifferent form to one sid...

Tonight, is the start of the biggest four (hopefully five) games of our season. Putting disappointment of our indifferent form to one side, Chelsea have a real chance to reach their second final under Maurizio Sarri and are odds on favourites at 2.42 to take an advantage back to Stamford Bridge for the second leg. 

There has been plenty said of Chelsea and of the future of Maurizio Sarri this season but, the simple fact remains that we sit fourth in the Premier League with domestic Champions League qualification in our own hands and have an opportunity to reach our second major final.

Our hosts will have a major say on our progress to the final starting with the first leg this evening in Germany although, in saying that, two of their attacking three up top are out of the game which should give us an advantage.

The problem for Chelsea is that we have Toni Rudiger out injured for the remainder of the season, Gary Cahill is also out injured and there have been doubts over the fitness of David Luiz who looked to have a problem against Manchester United on Sunday. As a result, Cesar Azpilicueta has been training this week playing as a centre-back if he is needed there as cover with the final decision being made as late as possible.

Both teams come into the game with poor current form. Frankfurt haven’t won in three games and sit precariously in fourth in the Bundesliga being hunted down by the teams below them and Chelsea are the same, one defeat and two draws in our last three Premier League games see us just ahead in the top four race.

Frankfurt’s run to the semi-finals has been impressive. They qualified in a group that also consisted of both Lazio and Marseille. They have then beaten Shakhtar Donetsk, Inter Milan and Benfica in the knockout stages so are a force to be reckoned with. Chelsea’s Europa League campaign has seen the club set a new national record so far with eleven victories and surpasses the ten in a single season set by both Newcastle and Manchester United.

So, to Chelsea and our chances of progressing to the final. Despite the defensive concerns we have we still have options. Andreas Christensen will start in the middle of the back four in the place of Toni Rudiger, hopefully alongside David Luiz. I expect Emerson to start tonight at left-back with Azpi on the right-hand side.

There should be the expected rotation from Maurizio Sarri in the middle of midfield this evening with the likes of Ross Barkley or RLC replacing Mateo Kovacic. If we can gain a two-goal advantage this evening in-game, then expect N’Golo Kante to be replaced by whoever out of the two Englishmen misses out at the start.

I expect Pedro to start with Eden Hazard out wide once again linking up with Olivier Giroud who, and I will keep saying it, should be playing week-in, week-out now to the end of the season. He offers us so much more than Gonzalo Higuain.

That’s the team that I believe delivers the performance and the result we are looking for. We MUST take an advantage back to Stamford Bridge but if we can take a two or three goal lead then the tie should be done and dusted.

That’s the thing though isn’t it. We’ve been saying “should” all season!

Come on Chelsea! UTC!

Selected bets ahead of the game with MustardBet:

Chelsea to win 2-0 = 12.3


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