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Maurizio Sarri’s team selection in the Europa League tie on Thursday evening is perhaps a big as indicator as any as to how he plans to line Chelsea up against Wolves on Sunday.
Emerson Palmieri, Cesar Azpilicueta, Antonio Rudiger, Eden Hazard and Gonzalo Higuain were either unused substitutes or handed the night off altogether, while N’Golo Kante, Jorginho, Ross Barkley and Willian all had their minutes managed with perhaps one eye on the visit of Nuno Espirito Santo’s troops.
The fact that Mateo Kovacic played the full 90 minutes against Dynamo Kyiv would also seem to stand in Barkley’s favour, though Ruben Loftus-Cheek is another option for Sarri in central midfield.
That would also seem to be the case for Emerson, with Marcos Alonso having played the entire game against the Ukrainian side.
Sarri praised Pedro’s contribution in the Europa League victory but while Willian was withdrawn after 78 minutes, the Spanish winger lasted the course.
David Luiz was handed a rest in Gameweek 29 and is expected to return to the starting XI on Sunday despite featuring against Kyiv, given that back-up centre-half Andreas Christensen has played 180 minutes over the last seven days.
Callum Hudson-Odoi and Olivier Giroud will expect to be among the substitutes again alongside Willy Caballero, with Sarri having previously said that the Kepa Arrizabalaga situation is now “closed”.