Sarri hoping for convincing Malmo win ahead of Carabao Cup final


Maurizio Sarri finds himself under immense scrutiny just 6 months into his reign as Chelsea boss.

The Italian former Napoli manager has struggled in recent weeks, drubbings by Bournemouth and Manchester City, coupled with an FA Cup loss to Manchester United have made fans and pundits question his ability to motivate and manage such a high profile side. This Europa League second leg against Swedish side Malmo offers an opportunity to gain some much needed momentum with the Carabao Cup final against Man City on Sunday.

Malmo bounced back from the 2-1 defeat to Chelsea by winning 3-2 in the Swedish Cup, with it being just the second competitive game the team have taken part in since December.

With the pressure reportedly on Sarri to win on Sunday, an opportunity may present itself to Malmo to shock the English side. Sarri is expected to rest some key players ahead of the weekends clash, meaning Callum Hudson-Odoi, Olivier Giroud and Emerson Palmeri are expected to start at the expense of Eden Hazard, Gonzalo Higuain and Marcos Alonso.

Chelsea have very few injury concerns, with the only long term absentee Marco Van Ginkel out with an ACL injury. Malmo manager, and former Wigan boss Uwe Rosler also has a squad with a clean bill of health, opting to start the goalscorer in the first leg Anders Christiansen on the bench for their recent cup victory.

The 2-1 first leg victory for Chelsea was the first ever competitive match between the two sides, so Chelsea will be hoping they can continue a 100% record against the Swedes. But most importantly, it is vital Sarri’s side progress and produce a confident, efficient performance which pleases the fans and gives them the momentum required heading into this weekends match against Manchester City.

Prediction: Chelsea 3-0 Malmo FF


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