Give Youth A Chance - The 3 Players Maurizio Sarri Must Drop For Chelsea v Manchester United
Having lost their previous two away games by a combined scoreline of 10-0, Chelsea avoided any major mishaps with an unconvincing 2-1 win at Malmo in the Europa League on Thursday night, although it was a result that did little to appease restless Blues fans.
Twitter users were quick to criticise Maurizio Sarri's team selection as he again overlooked the young guns of Ethan Ampadu, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek in favour of the consistent underperformers that have watched their season quickly unravel in recent months.
With Champions League qualification the only target for Sarri - either through a top-four finish in the Premier League or by winning the Europa League - Monday night's FA Cup tie at home to Manchester United offers an ideal opportunity to take a few senior players out of the firing line and allow youth to shine. We take a look at three players who need a rest...
Kepa Arrizabalaga has endured a tough introduction to life in England but there is still time for the 24-year-old to come good. It is difficult to give him a rest though as the alternatives are a 37-year-old Willy Caballero or a 39-year-old Robert Green.
One man who does look as if he needs a rest is Jorginho. The £50m summer signing from Napoli is one of the manager's favourites - he has missed just one Premier League game all season - despite his return of one assist from 32 games in all competitions and the fact his presence has forced the popular N'Golo Kante to play out of position.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek is waiting for a chance to step up but it seems increasingly likely that he will be leaving Stamford Bridge if Sarri remains. Loftus-Cheek was left out of Thursday's Europa League squad and he has yet to enjoy a regular run of games in which he can press his case for greater responsibility.
The Spanish left-back was a revelation at the beginning of season, laying on four assists and scoring one goal in four games during a rip-roaring start to the Premier League campaign. However, his next 24 games in all competitions have yielded one lonely assist and he has looked increasingly hapless defensively, with his performance in the 6-0 trouncing at Manchester City a painful reminder of how far his stock has fallen.
The Brazilian-born Italian, Emerson, is still waiting in the wings for a chance to impress after signing in January of last year and could be a straight replacement for Alonso, while Davide Zappacosta remains out of favour but could come in at right-back, with the ever dependable Cesar Azpiliqueta moving to left-back.
A Marmite figure. The 31-year-old boasts a lovely range of passing but his positional sense remains a massive concern and there is no doubt that he is on the wane as a top-flight player. It is remarkable to think that the 22-year-old Andreas Christiansen, who continues to be linked with Juventus and Barcelona, is struggling to get a game ahead of either Luiz or Antonio Rudiger.
Welsh sensation Ethan Ampadu is also waiting for a chance to step up.