Chelsea welcome Huddersfield Town to Stamford Bridge on Saturday as they attempt to get their Champions League push back on track.
Maurizio Sarri’s men fell out of the top four in the Premier League in midweek when they lost to Bournemouth, with the stunning 4-0 loss enough to allow Arsenal to leapfrog them 24 hours after beating Cardiff.
The Italian once again admitted that he was having problems motivating the players, and the pressure will only mount on him if he fails to overcome a side surely bound for the Championship next term.
|Game||Chelsea vs Huddersfield Town|
|Date||Saturday, February 2|
|Time||3pm GMT / 10am ET|
|Stream (US only)||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial).
New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|UNIVERSO||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will not be broadcast or streamed.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
Squads & Team News
|Goalkeepers||Arrizabalaga, Caballero, Green|
|Defenders||Azpilicueta, Zappacosta, Rudiger, Luiz, Cahill, Ampadu, Emerson|
|Midfielders||Jorginho, Drinkwater, Kante, Barkley, Loftus-Cheek, Kovacic|
|Forwards||Willian, Pedro, Hazard, Giroud, Hudson-Odoi, Higuain|
Gonzalo Higuain is given another chance to impress despite struggling in the Blues' 4-0 defeat to Bournemouth last time out.
At centre-back, Andreas Christensen comes in to replace Antonio Rudiger, while there's a place back on the bench for Bayern Munich target Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Chelsea starting XI: Kepa, Azpilicueta, Luiz, Christensen, Alonso, Kante, Jorginho, Barkley, Willian, Higuain, Hazard.
|Goalkeepers||Lossl, Hamer, Schofield|
|Defenders||Kongolo, Lowe, Zanka, Schindler, Stankovic, Hadergjonaj, Durm|
|Midfielders||Hogg, Bacuna, Billing, Kachunga, Diakhaby, Sobhi, Van La Parra, Mbenza, Pritchard, Quaner|
Aaron Mooy is back in the starting XI following a knee injury and makes what is his 50th Premier League start for Huddersfield.
Tommy Smith, Chris Lowe and Isaac Mbenza all also feature in what is their first starts under new manager Jan Siewert.
Huddersfield starting XI: Lossl, Smith, Kongolo, Bacuna, Billing, Kachunga, Mooy, Diakhaby, Lowe, Mbenza, Schindler.
Betting & Match Odds
Despite their troubles, Chelsea remain hot 1/5 favourites at Bet365. Huddersfield are 18/1 underdogs, while a draw is priced at 6/1.
Chelsea host Huddersfield with manager Maurizio Sarri expecting a reaction after his players suffered the club’s worst Premier League defeat in 23 years on Wednesday, when they went down to a 4-0 loss against a Bournemouth side that has been out of form in recent weeks.
While the Blues have made progress in the cup competitions, they have stuttered badly in the league and after going undefeated in their first 12 Premier League outings under the former Napoli boss have now lost five of their subsequent 12.
Following the 2-0 derby defeat to Arsenal, Sarri raised questions over his ability to motivate his team and did so again in midweek.
“Maybe it's my fault because maybe I'm not able to motivate this group and these players. I don't know why. But I need to understand and we need to understand very soon because we have to play in three days,” he said in the aftermath.
Those three days have already rolled around and now he must hope that a one-hour grilling in the dressing room after Wednesday’s debacle can extract a better display from his side at the weekend.
With the fans having chanted: “You don’t know what you’re doing,” throughout the second half at Bournemouth, the pressure is already mounting on a man who only took charge in the summer.
Jan Siewert, meanwhile, has considerably less experience in the Huddersfield dugout, having only been appointed to replace David Wagner on January 21.
His first experience in charge was a 1-0 defeat at home to Everton, in which visiting goalkeeper Jordan Pickford starred, and he is optimistic his team can cause an upset after watching the Blues on Wednesday.
“There is never a good time to play Chelsea - this is just the task we are given,” he said.
“For me it was the possibility to observe Chelsea so I know the situation and I know they have difficulties. I saw some situations in which they were vulnerable.”
Certainly, there was plenty for the former Borussia Dortmund reserve boss to get his teeth into, but if Chelsea are as fragile on Saturday as they were when he last watched them, his status as the Premier League’s newest coach is unlikely to last long.