‘Plan B’ Could Salvage Chelsea’s Season
One performance that Chelsea won’t want to dwell on is their 6-0 drubbing at the Etihad Stadium. Yet they can hardly turn their attention away from Pep’s Man City side, as they both meet once again at Wembley, where the first piece of silverware of the season will be won.
Looking at the football betting odds won’t make the prettiest of reading for Chelsea, who have somewhat seen their side fall to a couple of heavy defeats in recent weeks. Chelsea are certainly the underdogs according to the bookmakers at 17/4, but they’ve won more than their share of trophies at the national stadium in recent times, under a host of different managers.
The FA Cup couldn’t save Conte’s job last season, so it seems unlikely that the Carabao Cup will have the same effect for Sarri, a man who appears to be rapidly losing the dressing room.
Yet despite all the unrest, his side remain in three cup competitions, where the Blues will be looking to win the Europa League final in Baku, Azerbaijan, to confirm a return to the Champions League the following season.
Although a lot of hard work is required before then. The introduction of Higuain has provided Chelsea with a natural goalscorer, and one which has worked closely and very well with Sarri throughout his career. A brace in the FA Cup 4th Round against Sheffield Wednesday would have done him the world of good on his home debut as he looks to find his feet in South London.
It doesn’t appear to be the frontline which is the main cause for concern at present, which was evident to see in Manchester against the current Premier League Champions.
Danish centre back Andreas Christensen has been left out on numerous occasions by Sarri in favour to play David Luiz, who, this season has proven to be Chelsea’s Achilles heel across the back four. Sarri is definitely a man to stick to his guns but conceding 10 goals on the road against Bournemouth and Man City may well force him to rethink his logic as we enter an important run of fixtures for the Blues.
It certainly isn’t all doom and gloom. Hudson-Odoi has continued to impress and his decision to stay in London rather than join up with Bayern Munich was a huge plus for Sarri’s side. The youngster has burst onto the scene this season and has certainly provided his side with a great deal of confidence and skill in the final third.
It may well appear as though all is not well at The Bridge at present, but Chelsea have the chance of redemption against Man City to win the Carabao Cup, which could provide Sarri’s side with a much-needed push as his side battle for a Champions League spot at the expense of either Arsenal or Manchester United.
If the former Napoli manager is willing to adapt his approach, Chelsea could still end the season with a trophy or two in their cabinet.