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Swansea vs Chelsea confirmed team news: Giroud starts, Willian benched, Sanches returns

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Oliver Giroud continues up front for Chelsea ahead of Alvaro Morata for their clash against Swansea.
Giroud has been in good form for Chelsea recently and scored in last weekend’s 2-1 win against Southampton in the FA Cup semi-finals.

Thibaut Courtois is restored to the starting line-up in place of Willy Caballero while Willian drops to the bench with Tiemoue Bakayoko coming into the midfield.

For Swansea, manager Carlos Carvalhal has made two changes to the team that was beaten 5-0 by Man City last Sunday.

Federico Fernandez misses out with injury while Tom Carroll drops to the bench.

 

Connor Roberts and Sam Clucas start while Renato Sanches is on the Swansea bench after being out since January with a hamstring problem
Swansea: Fabianski, Naughton, Van Der Hoorn, Mawson, Olsson, Roberts, Ki, Clucas, King, J Ayew, A Ayew.

Subs: Nordfelt, Britton, Dyer, Carroll, Routledge, Rangel, Sanches.

Chelsea: Courtois, Moses, Rudiger, Cahill, Azpilicueta, Emerson, Fabregas, Kante, Bakayoko, Hazard, Giroud.

Subs: Caballero, Barkley, Morata, Pedro, Zappacosta, Willian, Christensen.

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Chelsea

Chelsea players blast Sarri over use of Hazard as false nine

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Chelsea players are angry with Sarri’s decision to play Eden Hazard as a false No. 9, in the wake of their 2-0 defeat to Arsenal.

Hazard has been the Blues’ standout attacker this season, scoring 12 goals in all competitions.

But the Belgian is being played out of position, after Sarri lost patience with Alvaro Morata, who is Atletico Madrid bound.

Pedro and Willian started on the wings with Hazard playing through the middle at the Emirates and Chelsea once again failed to get the best out of the 28-year-old.

Sarri blasted his players in an explosive press conference after the game and an inquest continued at the club’s training ground.

According to the Daily Mail, Sarri invited Chelsea’s staff and players for clear-the-air talks, in a bid to get their season back on track.

The Blues next face Tottenham in the second leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final clash, where they must overturn a 1-0 deficit to progress.

While the majority of Chelsea’s squad are still on board with Sarri’s project, many believe Hazard should return to his preferred position out wide.

There are also calls for Olivier Giroud to be recalled to the starting XI.

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I want to frustrate Sarri – Hazard

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Chelsea star, Eden Hazard, has admitted he “frustrated” Maurizio Sarri, Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho during their respective reigns at Chelsea and left all three managers wanting more from him on the pitch.


Hazard, 28, has once again been the Blues’ standout attacking player, scoring 12 goals in all competitions.

Chelsea had a promising start in the Premier League this term, but their form has drastically declined and Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Arsenal, piled yet more pressure on Sarri.

Hazard believes his team-mates must take responsibility for a recent poor run of results and knows Sarri will be demanding more from him personally.

Speaking to France Football, he said: “I didn’t just frustrate Conte. In my career, I’ve frustrated all my managers and now I’m frustrating Sarri.

“I frustrated Mourinho. They all think you need to score more, do such and such more. I’ll also frustrate the next manager I have.”

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Chelsea beat Manchester City in signing Barcelona midfielder, Ilaix Moriba

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Former Premier League champions, Chelsea have won the race ahead of Manchester City over the signing of Barcelona midfielder, Ilaix Moriba in this January transfer window.

Manchester City were favourites to sign the 16-year-old said to be the next Manchester United star, Paul Pogba.

The Sport reports that Chelsea have already met with Moriba’s agent and positive talks have prompted the West London club to make an offer.

The report claimed that Maurizio Sarri’s side made a late bid to bring the youngster to Stamford Bridge after offering the player better wages and more playing time assurances than their Premier League rivals, City.

The report also claimed that Chelsea Director, Marina Granovskaia has been given the go-ahead by Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich to sign Moriba.

Chelsea will tackle Bournemouth on Wednesday in the Premier League following their 2-0 defeat by Arsenal over the weekend.

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