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Huddersfield Town vs Chelsea: Match preview, expected lineups, and score prediction

Saurav
CONTRIBUTOR
Preview
2.47K   //    10 Aug 2018, 18:48 IST

Chelsea Unveil New Head Coach Maurizio Sarri...
Chelsea's Maurizio Sarri

Venue: John Smith's stadium

Time: Saturday, August 11, 3:00 PM BST (7:30 PM IST)


Overview

With a change in management also comes a change in style of play. With Maurizio Sarri as the new Chelsea manager, they are switching to a completely different style and formation, with different roles assigned to the players.

The contract issues with Conte and also Sarri's previous club Napoli meant that they could only sign the Italian very late, this resulted in a very late exchange of players in the transfer market.

With all these factors in mind, it can be presumed that it is still early for them to blend perfectly to the Sarri-ball system, and may lack fluency in their play at times. Maurizio Sarri faces a race against time to decide on his best starting eleven when he takes charge of his Chelsea side for the first time in the Premier League against last season's survivors - Huddersfield Town.

Chelsea Unveil New Head Coach Maurizio Sarri...
First Premier League match for Maurizio Sarri

Huddersfield meanwhile will be taking confidence in the fact that it was the valiant 1-1 draw against last season's title holders Chelsea that helped them secure safety in the Premier League.

The Terriers have had a mediocre transfer window, most notable were their signings of Adama Diakhaby and Terence Kongolo from Monaco.Though they haven't beaten Chelsea in a league match since 1963, The Terriers manager David Wagner insists they are ready for the challenge.


Team news

Chelsea: Eden Hazard, Olivier Giroud, Kovacic, and Batshuayi all went to the last stages of the World Cup and joined the team very recently, so they are most likely to miss out.

Kepa Arrizabalaga is expected to start for the blues in goal, with Azpilicueta starting as a right back. Hazard's absence may allow Sarri to give Callum Hudson-Odoi a start.

Huddersfield Town: Danny Williams has an ankle problem and may miss out with new boys Adama Diakhaby and Ramadan Sobhi making their debut from the bench.


Expected lineup

Chelsea: Kepa, Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso, Fabregas, Jorginho, Barkley, Willian, Pedro, Morata.

Huddersfield Town: Lossl, Hadergjonaj, Zanka, Schindler, Kongolo, Lowe, Mooy, Hogg, Pritchard, Van La Parra, Mounie.


Key players


Chelsea: Jorginho and Willian

Chelsea v Olympique Lyonnais - Pre-Season Friendly
Jorginho the playmaker

Jorginho is the only player in the team familiar with Sarri's style, having played under him last season, therefore he will be the one dictating their tempo from the midfield. He often likes to sit deep, and is known for his work rate, composure/accuracy in passing, and through balls. He was one of the reasons Napoli performed brilliantly last season.

Willian is the best choice for the right position, and will look to show why he was in such high demand in the transfer market. The pacy winger is known for his stop-go and cutting inside style, he also likes to shoot from the edge of the penalty box. He was involved in all three goals when both teams met for the first time in the Premier League.

Huddersfield Town: Aaron Mooy, Jonathan Hogg

Huddersfield Town v Olympique Lyonnais - Pre-Season Friendly
Aaron Mooy had a great 2017-18 season

Aaron Mooy was one of the best players in their debut season, and will be key to their possession play. He was one of the best players in the Socceroos' midfield at the recently concluded World Cup in Russia.

Jonathan Hogg was among the top three players who averaged more tackles per Premier League game last term, and is key to stopping the Chelsea attack. Hogg has an 86 percent pass accuracy, and likes to pass the ball short. His partnership with Mooy will be a key factor in the match.


Prediction

Huddersfield 0-2 Chelsea

Although Chelsea might struggle to maintain fluency, they have enough star power to break Huddersfield's defence and steal a close win.

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Saurav
CONTRIBUTOR
Sees the beauty in sports.
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