Predicted Chelsea line-up: Maurizio Sarri to hand a debut to midfielder for visit of Arsenal? - The Chelsea Chronicle

Predicted Chelsea line-up: Maurizio Sarri to hand a debut to midfielder for visit of Arsenal?

Arsenal are the first visitors to Stamford Bridge this season as Chelsea play the Gunners at 5.30pm on Saturday.

Maurizio Sarri got off to the perfect start as Chelsea manager, winning 3-0 at Huddersfield last weekend, with goals from N’Golo Kante, Jorginho and Pedro handing the Italian a win on his Premier League debut.

Unai Emery and Maurizio Sarri have never faced off (Photo by Paul FAITH / AFP) (Photo credit should read PAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images)

In contrast, Arsenal’s season started in the opposite manner, losing 2-0 at the hands of reigning champions, Manchester City.

Despite not playing terribly, the manner of the defeat dampened the high expectations that arrived with the appointment of Unai Emery.

And with Eden Hazard looking like he will stay, Chelsea fans have high hopes for the coming season.

Hazard to start first home game

Given the ease with which Chelsea beat Huddersfield, changes to the team may feel slightly unfair.

But with Hazard only fit enough for the bench last week, Sarri will most likely start the Belgian against Arsenal.

Eden Hazard started on the bench for Chelsea against Huddersfield (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

That could spell danger for any of the front three, with Willian and Pedro the wide-men who could drop out.

However, even Alvaro Morata could be axed from the starting XI with Sarri possibly wanting to try to emulate his success at Napoli with Dries Mertens as the central striker.

Debut for Mateo Kovacic?

Kovacic arrived on loan from Real Madrid in a deal which saw Thibaut Courtois move the other way.

And after reaching the final of the World Cup with Croatia, it’s understandable that Kovacic was rested for the Huddersfield game.

Mateo Kovacic has a full week of training under his belt (Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

But with a weeks rest and training, Kovacic will be eyeing a starting place in the midfield.

He’ll have to beat out a resurgent Ross Barkley for the spot, although many see this an inevitable change.

Predicted XI: Kepa; Azpilicueta, Luiz, Rudiger, Alonso; Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic; Willian, Morata, Hazard