X

Maurizio Sarri Not Thinking of Premier League Rotation Despite 4-0 PAOK Win

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 30, 2018

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 29: Maurizio Sarri of Chelsea looks on prior to the UEFA Europa League Group L match between Chelsea and PAOK at Stamford Bridge on November 29, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Harriet Lander/Copa/Getty Images)
Harriet Lander/Copa/Getty Images

Maurizio Sarriย will not be looking to rotate his Chelsea side much in the Premier League despite several players putting in good performances in Thursday's UEFA Europa League win over PAOK.ย 

Olivier Giroud netted twice in the 4-0 victory, while Callum Hudson-Odoi and Alvaro Morata also got on the scoresheet, with Cesc Fabregas standing out with an impressive showing.

The win came on the back of a 3-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur, but Sarri isn't set to ring the changes.

Per the Press Association (h/t MailOnline), he said: "In the last match, the problem was the team, not one or two players."

His side took full advantage ofย Yevhen Khacheridi's seventh-minute red card, using their extra man to devastating effect at Stamford Bridge.

Hudson-Odoi made his first senior start for the club since the FA Community Shield in August, and he impressed BT Sport pundits Owen Hargreaves and Karen Carney throughout:

Football on BT Sport @btsportfootball

"I don't care if he's 18, he's ready to play!" "He is going to affect games every time!" Karen Carney and Owen Hargreaves were hugely impressed by Callum Hudson-Odoi's performance tonight ๐Ÿ’ช A superb talent ๐Ÿ™Œ https://t.co/LOvhR03Y4O

Sarri also enjoyed the winger's performance but won't be giving him more significant opportunities than Europa League duty in the near future:

"If he is able in the Premier League at 18, especially in a big team, he will be the best player in Europe in two or three years.

"I think he played very well, but the type of match was for his characteristics.ย They were down to 10 after seven minutes. We needed only to play in the offensive phase. He's really very able to do this.

"I want to see him in a match where we need also the defensive phase."

Giroudโ€”who scored the Blues' only goal against Spurs tooโ€”staked a claim for more game time with his brace. He has only started four Premier League matches this season.

However, the France international seemingly suffered an ankle injury before his second-half exit, which could put him in doubt for Sunday's west London derby with Fulham.

Morata also did his best to keep his rival for the centre-forward spot at bay with his header shortly after coming off the bench, per Goal's Nizaar Kinsella:

Nizaar Kinsella @NizaarKinsella

Morata now only one goal behind Chelsea's top scorer Hazard. They have seven and eight respectively. Giroud up to fourth, so joint-third top scorer with Loftus-Cheek #CFC

"Two strikers scored in this match," Sarri added. "For us, I think it's really very important to have two strikers in confidence."

As for Fabregas, he has made just three substitute appearances for the Blues in the Premier League this season. He isn't likely to unseat Jorginho as the playmaker in Sarri's starting lineup, but he offered a timely reminder of his arsenal of stunning passes, one of which set up Giroud's second goal.

Few can carve open a defence or play a perfectly weighted ball over the top like the Spaniard, so with Chelsea facing nine fixtures in December, Sarri would be wise to make use of Fabregas during the busy spell.