Maurizio Sarri handed Olivier Giroud a chance to impress at centre-forward in Chelsea’s EFL Cup semi-final showdown against Tottenham.
Sarri completed the loan signing of his former Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain from Juventus on Wednesday, but the deal was not registered in time for the Argentina international to feature as Chelsea look to overturn a 1-0 first-leg deficit at Stamford Bridge.
It means an opportunity from the start for Giroud – an option Sarri has eschewed in favour of starting Eden Hazard as a false nine over recent weeks.
Hazard is back in his favoured left-sided attacking role, while Bayern Munich target Callum Hudson-Odoi is on the bench alongside perennial loanee Lucas Piazon.
0 – Tottenham will be without Harry Kane, Dele Alli & Son Heung-min vs Chelsea – the last time all three failed to feature in a competitive game for Spurs was in October 2016, losing vs Liverpool in the fourth round of the League Cup. Task. pic.twitter.com/lDzYdrXZjn
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 24, 2019
Injuries and international commitments mean Tottenham are without Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Son Heung-min in a competitive games for the first time since October 2016.
Fernando Llorente will continue to shoulder the burden of Kane’s absence in attack, although there is better news for Mauricio Pochettino in midfield, where Moussa Sissoko and Eric Dier return.
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