Chelsea vs Southampton likely line-ups: Morata set for recall for injury-hit Blues
ALVARO MORATA is set to return for Chelsea as Maurizio Sarri juggles his injury-hit squad.
The misfiring Spain striker looks likely to be recalled to the Blues starting XI for tonight’s clash against relegation-threatened Southampton.
This is how Chelsea are likely to line up against Southampton
Morata, who admitted 2018 had been a “very complicated” year professionally, has been out of favour following a knee injury.
But Olivier Giroud had to be replaced by Morata in the 75th minute of the 1-0 win over Crystal Palace on Sunday after picking up a knock.
After firing a shot into the roof of the net – with the strike ruled out for offside – he was caught by Jason Tomkins, leaving him writhing in agony.
Sarri said afterwards: “In the last few days we were a bit unlucky.
Alvaro Morata is set to return for Chelsea against Southampton tonightEPA
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“Yesterday in ten minutes we had three injuries – [Cesc] Fabregas, [Ruben] Loftus[-Cheek] and [Danny] Drinkwater – then Giroud today, and today we were already without Pedro and [Callum Hudson-] Odoi.
“We are in trouble because, in January, we have to play every three days.”
Eden Hazard – who Chelsea fans are certain will leave for Real Madrid after the Blues completed the signing of £58million Christian Pulisic – has been operating as a forward.
But it looks like he will be shunted out to his favourite wing position with the return of Morata.
Giroud was subbed off after picking up an ankle knock against PalaceGetty Images – Getty
Mateo Kovacic should start in place of Ross Barkley, who was given the nod for the win at Selhurst Park.
Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuettl oversaw a mini-resurgence when he took over thanks to wins over Arsenal and Huddersfield.
But he needs to bounce back following home defeats to West Ham and Man City.