Giroud may be forced to make way for Morata
Maurizio Sarri is expected to revert to his fi rst- choice side when Chelsea meet Fulham in today’s west London derby, with the main selection dilemma between Álvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud up front.
Sarri insisted last Saturday’s loss to Tottenham was not down to one or two players and hinted after Thursday’s 4- 0 Europa League win over Paok Salonika that he planned to restore his fi rst- choice line up to face Fulham, who won their fi rst game under Claudio Ranieri.
Giroud scored twice against Paok, but has been a second choice in the Premier League behind Morata, who also scored after coming on as a substitute. An apparent ankle knock may rule Giroud out from selection and Sarri is happy with Morata’s form. The Spain striker sported a new buzz cut and a stern face when celebrating against Paok.
“With a new haircut he scored with a header,” said Sarri, when asked if Morata’s hair hinted at a no- nonsense approach. “Morata is serious. It’s not a problem. His attitude is not a problem for the group, for me in training he’s doing very well. In the last month he has scored.”
For all the suggestions of Morata under- performing this season, he has fi ve Premier League goals, two fewer than Eden Hazard. Chelsea’s leading scorer is expected to shake off an ankle problem to feature against Fulham.
N’Golo Kanté, César Azpilicueta, David Luiz and Antonio Rüdiger are anticipated to return after being rested on Thursday, along with Jorginho and Marcos Alonso, who were unused substitutes against Paok. Mateo Kovacic is likely to displace Ross Barkley in midfi eld, while Willian is also set to start start.
The game is Chelse Chelsea’s fi rst of nine matches in Decem December, which in include Wedne Wednesday’s game at Wolves and Saturday’s with the leag league leaders, Man Manchester City.