THESSALONIKI, GREECE - SEPTEMBER 20: Willian (C) celebrates with team mates after scoring the first goal for Chelsea during the UEFA Europa League Group L match between PAOK and Chelsea at Toumba Stadium on September 20, 2018 in Thessaloniki, Greece. (Photo by MB Media/Getty Images)

Picking the Best Potential Chelsea Lineup to Face BATE Borisov in the Europa League on Thursday

Chelsea welcome BATE Borisov to Stamford Bridge on Thursday for their third game in the Europa League this season. The Blues sit top of Group L after two wins from two, with their Belarusian visitors just behind in second.


Sarri fielded his strongest side in the 1-0 win over PAOK in their first game, but their fatigue showed as they lumbered to a 0-0 draw at West Ham the following Sunday. 


Sarri has now learned about the tough fixture schedule in England, and will undoubtedly be cautious in anticipation of Sunday’s trip to Burnley.


Here's a look at our take on Maurizio Sarri's most likely lineup for Thursday's game at Stamford Bridge.

1. Goalkeeper & Defenders

Kepa Arrizabalaga (GK) - Chelsea’s number one has played in all but one of Chelsea's games this season and after an impressive outing against Vidi where he made many key saves, he seems the safe choice in goal.


Davide Zappacosta (RB) - His only appearances so far this season have been in the Europa League, and Sarri seems likely to play him for his third European game in a row.  


Gary Cahill (CB) - Another player struggling for playing time, Cahill looks set to lead the team for only the third time this season.


Andreas Christensen (CB) - Frustrated about his lack of game time, Christensen has been limited to cup competitions this campaign. If he wants to be a regular starter at Stamford Bridge, he must impress when he gets the chance.


Emerson (LB) - His game time has been limited this season, but Emerson looks likely to play at left back once again as Marcos Alonso gets a rest.

2. Midfielders

Cesc Fabregas (CM) - Fabregas controlled the game against Vidi and should play another 90 minutes on Thursday, though he is yet to make a league appearance.   


Mateo Kovacic (CM) - One of the few league regulars, Sarri will be able to rely on Kovacic for his European experience and outstanding style of play for the visit of BATE.


Ross Barkley (CM) - Barkley has featured in both Europa League games, producing good performances. He will come into the game with confidence having scored in back to back league games, including his 96th minute equaliser against Manchester United.  

3. Forwards

Willian (RW) - Involved in both of Chelsea’s Europa League goals so far, Willian’s creativity will be key for Thursday’s game. The Brazilian will be the one to watch, as he hopes to add to his European tally.  


Alvaro Morata (ST) - Morata scored the winner against Vidi, which will likely see him retain his starting spot. However, he was in tears after his goal, so hopefully a strong outing on Thursday will help reboot his confidence.


Pedro (LW) - Game time has recently been limited for Pedro, but with Hazard unlikely to play it seems he will get to start on Thursday.