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Maurizio Sarri’s pre-match press conference was low on team news and instead focused on the club’s current plight, with the Chelsea head coach saying that his attack-minded options needed to stop playing so narrow and move away from the counter-attacking style that was favoured under Antonio Conte.
Sarri said that Eden Hazard “needs to improve” but the Belgian is still expected to feature from the start against Huddersfield, with Willian perhaps in line to replace Pedro as rotation continues in that right wing spot.
The Blues’ boss added that Gonzalo Higuain “needs to improve physically” after his 65-minute run-out at the Vitality Stadium but the Argentinean striker will surely be given another chance to impress at home to the struggling Terriers, with Olivier Giroud primed for bench duty again.
Ross Barkley or Ruben Loftus-Cheek could replace Mateo Kovacic as the “hokey cokey” selection policy continues on the left-hand side of central midfield, with Sarri ruling out the prospect of N’Golo Kante being deployed in the Jorginho role and saying that he will continue with his favoured 4-3-3 despite a loss in form.
Marcos Alonso will be hoping for a recall after being benched for the first time in the league this season at Bournemouth though Emerson Palmieri was by no means Chelsea’s worst defender in that 4-0 mauling and may be given another chance to impress at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.