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Chelsea Team News: Injuries, suspensions and line-up vs Cardiff

14:10 GMT+3 29/03/2019
Callum Hudson-Odoi Chelsea Europa League 2019
The Blues are in the home stretch to earn Champions League qualification for next season, but they need to improve to achieve their minimum aim

Chelsea dropped points in their two Premier League games before the international break and will hope to overcome a poor run of away form with a win against relegation candidates Cardiff City on Sunday afternoon.

A 1-1 draw against Wolves was followed by a 2-0 away defeat to Everton, leaving Chelsea's Champions League qualification hopes through a top-four finish in doubt.

Sixth-placed Chelsea are up against Neil Warnock's 18th-placed side who have proven better at home than away, and they will be fighting for their lives to get valuable points in their bid to escape the drop to the Championship.

Chelsea Injuries

Chelsea have close to a full complement of players available for their upcoming trip to the Welsh capital, as their players have returned home from the international break without injury.

However, Ruben Loftus-Cheek continues to manage his historic back problems which led him to withdraw from the England squad over the international break.

Ethan Ampadu pulled out of Wales' squad with a back injury of his own, while Davide Zappacosta is recovering from a muscle injury but he is expected to be back soon.

He returned to train with a host of Chelsea stars who have either retired or weren't called up due to poor form, earning the likes of Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Pedro, Willian, Gonzalo Higuain and Marcos Alonso a two-week break from playing matches.


Neither Chelsea nor Cardiff have any suspensions to contend with ahead of Sunday's match.

Chelsea Potential Starting Line-Up

Maurizio Sarri will assess the fitness of his returning stars after the international break to inform his team selections ahead of Sunday's game.

His side face three consecutive Premier League games, with a rescheduled match at home to Brighton just three days after the Cardiff trip.

The Italian has only selected Azpilicueta and N'Golo Kante for every match, but much of his line-up is predictable as he remains confident in his 4-3-3 formation despite poor recent form.

The 60-year-old doesn't often rotate for Premier League games, but Willian and Pedro are fighting for a starting berth alongside Hazard and Higuain.

It is a similar story in midfield as Mateo Kovacic, Ross Barkley and Loftus-Cheek fight over one spot in the central area of the pitch.

Cardiff Team News

Sol Bamba has a knee injury that will keep him out for the rest of the season, representing a massive blow for Warnock's side. Joe Bennett is working to recover from a hamstring injury in time to face Chelsea.

Callum Paterson is a fresh injury scare after landing awkwardly and rolling his ankle while on Scotland duty. There are some suggestions that he could be out for a number of months, which is a blow because he is Cardiff's joint-top scorer.

TV channel & kick-off time

The match at the Cardiff City Stadium kicks off at 2:05pm BST (9:05am ET) on Sunday and will be shown live on Sky Sports in the UK. In the US, the game is available on NBC Sports.

Best Opta Match Facts

  • Cardiff have lost all three of their Premier League matches against Chelsea, with their only previous meeting at the Cardiff City Stadium coming in May 2014, losing 1-2.

  • Chelsea have won seven of their last nine matches against Cardiff in all competitions (D1 L1), with their only defeat in this sequence coming at Ninian Park in the League Cup third round in October 1986 under John Hollins.

  • Cardiff have lost their last 16 Premier League games against the ‘big six’ sides, last avoiding defeat in November 2013, drawing 2-2 against Manchester United.

  • Coming into this matchday, only Fulham (6) have lost more away Premier League games in 2019 than Chelsea, with the Blues losing four of their five games on the road so far.

  • Chelsea’s Eden Hazard has scored five Premier League goals in three appearances against Cardiff City, although all his goals have come at Stamford Bridge; no player has more Premier League goals against the Bluebirds than Hazard (Gerard Deulofeu and Luis Suárez also five).