Chelsea vs BATE Borisov: Match preview, predicted Chelsea XI | UEFA Europa League 2018-19
Chelsea welcome Belarusian club BATE Borisov to Stamford Bridge on Thursday night to play them in a Europa League Group L encounter. The hosts are heavily tipped to win this game on paper, with recent form on their side.
Chelsea have remained unbeaten in the Premier League this season under new coach Maurizio Sarri, and they will look to extend their run to the Europa League as well.
The hosts have won three of their last five matches, drawing the rest, while BATE Borisov have won three in their last five, and lost the remaining two, one of them a heavy 1-4 defeat to PAOK Thessaloniki.
As they prepare to play BATE Borisov, we have picked the best Chelsea XI to take the field on Thursday night. They will line up in a 4-3-3 formation.
Kepa Arrizabalaga deserves some rest after starting in all of Chelsea's Premier League games so far. Caballero should start on Thursday. The Argentinian goalkeeper has not got a lot of game time, and will look to make the most of this.
Emerson started for Chelsea in their last European game against Vidi FC, and is likely to do same against Borisov. Regular left-back, Spaniard Marcos Alonso, will be rested so he remains fresh for the Premier League clash against Burnley.
Andreas Christensen (centre back)
Andreas Christensen will take the place of Antonio Rudiger in the Chelsea XI on Thursday at the centre-half position. Rudiger has manned the central defender's position in the Premier League, and Christensen will take over in the Europa League.
Gary Cahill (centre back)
Partnering Andreas Christensen at centre back will be Chelsea and England veteran Gary Cahill who has struggled to get game time in the Premier League. Lack of game time may force him to look elsewhere in January.
Victor Moses (right back)
Nigerian right wing-back Victor Moses will play in a deeper role on Thursday against BATE Borisov. He was a regular in Antonio Conte's squad, but Sarri has preferred to play Cesar Azpilicueta at right-back.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek (left central midfielder)
Youngster Ruben Loftus-Cheek will most likely start against BATE Borisov on Thursday in a central midfield role. The 21-year-old has a bright future, and should have many successful years. Sarri and his coaching staff need to groom him.
Cesc Fabregas (central midfielder)
Spaniard Cesc Fabregas will look to spin his magic as he will most probably start against BATE Borisov on Thursday. As someone who has fallen from grace after receiving next to zero game time, Fabregas will be looking to show the Stamford Bridge faithful why he can be indispensable.
Mateo Kovacic (right central midfielder)
On loan from Real Madrid, Mateo Kovacic is bound to start against BATE Borisov on Thursday. He will take up the right central midfielder's role. Kovacic has had a decent showing in the Premier League, and there is no reason to not pick him.
Willian (left winger)
Willian will look to score a few goals, as he will most probably start on the left wing against BATE Borisov. He is creative and extremely impressive when on the ball.
Olivier Giroud (centre forward)
Frenchman Olivier Giroud should start in the centre-forward/striker's role on Thursday night in the Europa League. Giroud is strong and technically proficient. Sarri may look to rest Alvaro Morata and play the Puskas Award winner in his place instead.
Ross Barkley (right winger)
A back injury to club stalwart Eden Hazard means that central midfielder Ross Barkley can play in a more attacking position on Thursday as coach Maurizio Sarri may find it hard to leave him out on current form. He scored the equaliser against Manchester United on Saturday.