Chelsea travel to Hungary on Thursday to play MOL Vidi, hoping to maintain their perfect start to this season's Europa League. The Blues go into the game knowing their route through the group stages is already guaranteed, having won all five of their games.
Manager Maurizio Sarri has so far used a variety of fringe players in order to keep his squad fresh and it is likely several key players will be rested for the match, seeing as the result is of no consequence.
There is consequence, however, for the home side, who sit third in Group L, level on points with second place BATE Borisov. The result is out of Vidi's hands, who need to win and hope BATE Borisov drop points to PAOK Salonika in order to progress to the next stage.
Here's 90min's preview for the fixture:
How to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Thursday 13th December|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||17:55 GMT|
|Where Is It Played?||Groupama Arena|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||BT Sport|
|Referee?||Aleksandar Stavrev (MKD)|
Sarri will rest a number of players for their trip and will likely play a second string team. However, Mateo Kovacic will more than likely not feature after suffering an slight thigh injury in Saturday's victory over Manchester City. Marcos Alonso is also a fitness doubt, but it is likely Emerson Palmieri will start at left back anyhow. Several youngsters including Ethan Ampadu and Callum Hudson-Odoi may feature.
Vidi have a full strength side with no major injury concerns. They have it all to play for and need a win, with results elsewhere needing to go their way.
Predicted Line Ups
|Chelsea||Caballero, Zappacosta, Cahill, Christensen, Emerson, Fabregas, Loftus-Cheek, Barkley, Pedro, Morata, Hudson-Odoi|
|MOL Vidi||Kovacsik, Fiola, Juhasz, Vinicius, Stopira, Nego, Hadzic, Patkai, Hustzi, Milanov, Scepovic|
Head to Head Record
Vidi did trouble Chelsea at times as the English side had a poor game on the night. Morata scored a goal midway through the second half to seal an unconvincing win, but Vidi on home soil will want to prove they have what it takes to match the talent of Sarri's Chelsea.
Chelsea enjoyed perhaps the result of their season so far with a 2-0 win over Premier League favourites Manchester City. However, the result over City comes after a disappointing defeat to Wolves as Chelsea have blown hot and cold recently. Sarri's Chelsea sit in fourth place in the Premier League at the moment.
However, their European results have been perfect as they have won five from five, with simply too much quality for their opponents.
Vidi sit second in the Hungarian Nemzeti Bajnoksag 1 as they chase once more the domestic title they won last year. They have won four of the last six, but have lost in their most recent domestic and European fixture. They sit third in Group L with their qualification out of their own hands.
Here's a look at the sides most recent fixtures:
|Chelsea 2-0 Manchester City (08/12)||Ujpesti 2-0 Vidi (08/12)|
|Wolves 2-1 Chelsea (05/12)||Vidi 2-0 Budapest Honved (02/12)|
|Chelsea 2-0 Fulham (02/12)||BATE Borisov 2-0 Vidi (29/11)|
|Chelsea 4-0 PAOK Salonika (29/11)||Debrecen 0-1 Vidi (25/11)|
|Tottenham 3-1 Chelsea (24/11)||Vidi 1-0 Ujpesti (21/11)|
Chelsea are unbeaten in the group stages up to this point and have performed well with a mostly second string team. Sarri will rest a number of players, but the Blues will likely have too much quality for MOL Vidi.
Vidi have the home advantage with everything to play for, but some of Chelsea's players will want to put in a good performance to prove they have what it takes to be a regular in Sarri's first choice XI.
Prediction: MOL Vidi 0-2 Chelsea