Chelsea will be travelling to Hungary already qualified from Group L, to face a Vidi side who will be fighting for the second spot alongside BATE Borisov.
Chelsea will be looking to maintain their impressive 100% record with a win in Hungary, as Maurizio Sarri is expected to field a side, which is mixed with Chelsea fringe players and Chelsea youth players, as he will have an eye on Sunday’s Premier League clash away to Brighton.
Vidi host the Premier League side at the Groupama Arena in third position, but a draw or win may be enough to earn their place in the knockout stages of the competition.
They will need a favour from PAOK though, who face BATE Borisov who are the other team in Group L who will be competing for the second spot with Vidi.
Recent form in the Europa League for both teams
Vidi FC- L/L/W/W/L
Manager and Player Comments
Chelsea Manager- Maurizio Sarri (Source/Credit- Chelsea FC Official Twitter)
Asked about the incident on Saturday involving Raheem Sterling, Sarri says: ‘First of all I want to say I condemn any form of discrimination, but I have to stop here because there is an investigation.
‘Sarri says Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ethan Ampadu could feature tomorrow. He adds Ampadu has a good chance of featuring due to Gary Cahill being injured.
He adds that both players are ‘technically very good.’
On tomorrow’s game, Sarri says: ‘The last match against them was very difficult, they defended very well. Maybe tomorrow will bbe very different because they are fighting for qualification so they need to win.’
Sarri says he decided Kepa, Rudiger, Azpilicueta, Kante and Hazard all needed a rest, while Kovacic, Cahill and Moses are injured.
Chelsea Player- Ruben Loftus Cheek (Source/Credit- Chelsea FC Official Twitter)
Loftus-Cheek says progress has been made regarding racism in football, but it remains a problem today. He says he personally has never suffered racist abuse on the pitch.
He reiterates the club’s stance regarding the ongoing investigation: that the hardest response will be taken if racist abuse has occurred.
Loftus-Cheek is asked about Ethan Ampadu: ‘He is a great boy and a funny lad. He is mentally strong and has a great attitude.’
Loftus-Cheek says the recent period has been really good for his confidence. He is enjoying being on the pitch more and more and says he is raring to go at the moment.
Ruben expects a really tough game tomorrow. ‘As a team and Chelsea Football Club, it’s important we keep the mentality of wanting to win every game and improving in every game.’
Team News (Source/Credit- Sportsmole.co.uk)
Nikolic will consider making changes to his team after their defeat to Ujpest at the weekend, with Istvan Kovacs a potential inclusion in midfield.
Marko Scepovic should get the nod in attack despite failing to score a single goal in Europe this season.
Ampadu and Hudson-Odoi should make a rare appearance in the starting lineup on Thursday night, while Willy Caballero could replace Kepa Arrizabalaga between the sticks.
The back four is likely to remain the same as in previous European fixtures, with David Luiz being left in West London and with one of Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso only making the bench.
Jorginho and N’Golo Kante are also unlikely to play any part, with Cesc Fabregas expected to start and Ross Barkley being provided with more minutes after a recent injury.
Jamie Cumming and George McEachran are amongst the Chelsea youngsters who will be travelling to Budapest this evening to take on Vidi tomorrow. The other young players who will be travelling to Budapest alongside these 2 players are the likes of Bulka, Ampadu and Hudson-Odoi.
Vidi possible starting lineup:
Kovacsik; Fiola, Juhasz, Vinicius, Stopira; Nego, Kovacs, Patkai; Huszti, Milanov; Scepovic
Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Caballero; Zappacosta, Christensen, Cahill, Emerson; Ampadu, Fabregas, Barkley; Moses, Morata, Hudson-Odoi
Head to Head/ Match Statistics (Credit/Source- Sportsmole.co.uk)
Thursday’s game will represent just the second competitive meeting between the two clubs, with their only other contest coming earlier in this competition.
Chelsea will also be making their first-ever trip to Hungary to take on a team from the Nemzeti Bajnoksag I.
Vidi are also not familiar with facing English teams, with their only previous tie coming in 1985 when they got the better of Manchester United in the UEFA Cup quarter-finals.
Betting Odds/My Prediction
Bet 365 have made Chelsea clear favourites from this game considering that it is an away game in Hungary, with a Chelsea win being priced at 8/11. A draw between these two sides which could be enough for Vidi if BATE lose is being priced at 14/5. A surprise win for Vidi which is more than likely to take Vidi through in second spot is being priced at 9/2.
My Prediction is a tight 1-2 win to Chelsea. I think Vidi will be up for this game due to the fact that they need a positive result from this game, however there quality will shine through in the end in my opinion, and it will be a good chance for Chelsea’s fringe and young players to make a statement to Sarri for them to be included in the Premier League first team.
By Danyal Khan
Categories: Europa League