Hazard’s role & Kovacic’s debut – The 5 questions Maurizio Sarri must answer ahead of Arsenal

Maurizio Sarri makes his Stamford Bridge bow against Arsenal on Saturday as he takes a Premier League match for the first time at his new home.

But there are still plenty of questions facing the Italian as he looks to continue the perfect start that his side made in the 3-0 win at Huddersfield Town last weekend at the John Smith’s Stadium.

It was an excellent way for the Blues to get off the mark, while the Gunners lost their first competitive match under Unai Emery as they were beaten 2-0 by defending Premier League champions Manchester City.

Sarri is holding his pre-match press conference at 1.15pm this afternoon, and we look at the topics expected to be facing the head coach.

Eden Hazard to start?

Eden Hazard was named on the bench for the Huddersfield Town game having just come back from his holiday after a successful World Cup campaign with Belgium.

The 27-year-old is such a key player to the Blues and has a great record playing against the Gunners, scoring a wonderful goal against them two seasons ago at the Bridge.

Willian and Pedro have both looked impressive in recent weeks in pre-season and against the Terriers, but will Sarri want to bring in the Belgian to start his first game of the season?

Mateo Kovacic’s debut

As part of the Thibaut Courtois deal heading to Real Madrid, Chelsea were given Mateo Kovacic on loan, but the Croatian was not part of the squad that travelled to the John Smith’s Stadium.

Kovacic admitted that he hadn’t trained very much while he had been in Spain as he waited for his move to the Blues, so the 24-year-old has not been match-fit ready to star for the Blues.

But the club could do with a player like the Croatian international to play in the midfield with N’Golo Kante and Jorginho, so Sarri will have to decide whether or not he is finally fit to be part of the squad.

Stick with Alvaro Morata?

The Spaniard has not scored for the Blues since April 1, but so far this pre-season and in the opening game of the campaign Sarri has stuck with the striker.

You feel like the 25-year-old just needs to find the back of the net once and the goals may start flooding in, but will Sarri continue to have patience with him if he is not scoring.

Olivier Giroud and Tammy Abraham are both waiting in the wings for their chance to play, so you feel time might be running out, even at this early stage, for Morata to prove himself.

Cesc Fabregas’s injury

Cesc Fabregas was a prominent figure during pre-season for the Blues, but he picked up a knee injury in the last match against the Gunners in Dublin and then made it worse in the Community Shield against Manchester Cty.

With Kante coming back and Ross Barkley playing pretty well on the other side, the 31-year-old could be in danger of losing his starting place in the team.

Fabregas will be keen to get back to action against his former side, but will his knee injury keep him sidelined for another match?

Any more loans?

The Blues have taken their loan count to 31 for the season so far, but there is a lot of reports that it won’t be the last of the loan deals to be struck before the window closes on August 31.

Danny Drinkwater is one of those that has been linked with a switch to Europe for the season, but is he important to be back-up to Jorginho for the upcoming campaign.

We’ll find out what the head coach has planned for the rest of his squad.

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