Chelsea’s defensive frailties means EFL Cup offers opportunity for Christensen to earn himself a starting role
Andreas Christensen’s Chelsea career has been very up and down.
Having made his debut aged just 17, he went on a two year loan to Borussia Monchengladbach.
Christensen had two fantastic years in the Bundesliga, and was named Die Fohlen’s player of the year in 2015-16.
Since returning from Germany, he established himself in the first team under Antonio Conte and made 40 appearances in 2017-18, including three in the victorious FA Cup campaign.
Despite injury ruining the end to the season, he was awarded the club’s Young Player of the Year award.
Following the departure of Conte and Maurizio Sarri’s arrival, the Dane has struggled for game time.
The move from a back three – which Conte favoured – to Sarri’s preferred back four has caused Sarri to favour other centre-backs.
But Sarri’s defence has shown leakiness all season, with chances created frequently by opposition players.
The latest match against West Ham was no different, as it included this glaring miss by Andriy Yarmolenko:
The upcoming matches against Liverpool – one in the EFL Cup and the other in the league – could offer Christensen with a chance of playing himself into the managers plans.
Sarri will likely rotate for Wednesday’s EFL Cup tie at Anfield, and Christensen will probably start.
Although a tough encounter, if Christensen can prove his solidity, he may get another chance on Saturday.
Liverpool’s attacking verve will be a test, but if he can come through unscathed, he should start in the league.
Antonio Rudiger limped off against West Ham meaning a starting spot may be available.
And for Chelsea to succeed going forward, the defence must tighten up.