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Callum Hudson-Odoi (fever) and Gary Cahill (back) are minor doubts for the trip to Manchester City but Maurizio Sarri said he expects that “every player will be available” for Sunday’s clash at the Etihad.
Marcos Alonso reclaimed his left-back spot from Emerson Palmieri in the win over Huddersfield Town last weekend and looks a strong candidate to continue in the back four, while Antonio Rudiger will be expected to displace Andreas Christensen at centre-half after a minor knee injury forced the German stopper’s benching at Stamford Bridge last weekend.
Right wing and left central midfield have been the most unsettled positions this season but Willian and Mateo Kovacic have – when fully match-fit – started every league match against fellow “big six” sides in 2018/19 so may get the nod over Pedro and Ross Barkley respectively.
Gonzalo Higuain scored twice last weekend and remains the favourite to lead the line for the Blues this Sunday but Sarri had previously said (before the Argentinean striker’s arrival) that using Eden Hazard centrally gives his side extra defensive stability, so there remains the possibility of the Belgian leading the line and being flanked by Pedro and Willian.