The 3-0 second-leg win of Chelsea over Malmo FF was an achievement for many of the under-used players this season, who were given an opportunity to start the game at Stamford Bridge. Players like Hudson Odoi, Christensen, Emerson and more were played in this match instead of the others, with the idea of squad rotation finally being implemented by Maurizio Sarri.
They were really impressive on the night and did their job well, due to which the Blues easily secured qualification to the next round of the tournament. Though it wasn’t the best opposition in Europe, the Premier League giants have lacked the confidence at times and this would have been a morale booster.
However, with some good news, followed bad news, as FIFA banned the west London outfit from signing more players for a couple of transfer windows. This meant more bad news for the Londoners who were already in trouble, with regards to the way things are panning out for them.
With the Italian manager now having to retain all his players (as he possibly can’t buy anymore) and rotate the squad around too, here are three players who may start against Manchester City.
#1 Olivier Giroud
The attacker had a great game against Malmo FF and scored the opening goal of the game, for which he had to fight really hard. His positioning and movement was really good in the game and he managed to do what Higuain had failed to do in the last few games, score.
With that being said, his performance in the Europa League win might urge Sarri to start with him against Manchester City, as the Argentine has failed to add to his tally after the brace against Huddersfield. It will be interesting to see how the France World Cup winner performs, as he has the caliber of making an impact in high-intensity games and would surely love to play a Cup final.
#2 Mateo Kovacic
The Croatian international played the entire 90 minutes of the match against Malmo, showcasing the first signs of Sarri’s actual squad rotation in midfield. The former Real Madrid man started off in Jorginho’s holding midfield position and has now given Sarri an alternative to the former Napoli man.
Keeping that in mind, Kovacic might start against Manchester City in that same role, while goal-scorer Ross Barkley (who would have been the first choice to start) might star along with the World Cup finalist.
#3 Callum Hudson-Odoi
The best player for the Londoners against Malmo and one of the fan favorites, Hudson-Odoi deserves to start the game against Manchester City. He might be Chelsea’s one single hope to beat Pep Guardiola’s side if he can link up well with the likes of Eden Hazard and co.
He is already wanted by top European giants like Bayern Munich and PSG and it is incredible how Sarri can’t see the special talents that he has showcased game after game. He outshined the likes of Willian on the pitch and if this player remains at the Stamford Bridge for the years to come, Chelsea will surely win more titles in the upcoming seasons.