Competitive in Sunday’s Carabao Cup final against Manchester City – a match they lost on penalties – their performance was overshadowed by the farcical scenes between the manager and goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, who refused to be substituted late on.
Combined with a poor recent run of form, it has made Sarri’s position at Stamford Bridge very fragile ahead of a clash against a Tottenham side that saw their Premier League title aspirations dashed by Burnley at the weekend.
Both teams are in need of a lift, but which will get it?
|Game||Chelsea vs Tottenham|
|Date||Wednesday, February 27|
|Time||8:00pm GMT / 3:00pm ET|
|Stream (US)||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial).
New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|NBCSN / UNIVERSO||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will be televised on BT Sport 1 and BT Sport 4K UHD. It can be streamed on BT Sport Live.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|BT Sport 1 / BT Sport 4K UHD||BT Sport Live|
Squads & Team News
|Goalkeepers||Kepa, Caballero, Bulka|
|Defenders||Azpilicueta, Zappacosta, Rudiger, Luiz, Christensen, Ampadu, Emerson|
|Midfielders||Jorginho, Kante, Barkley, Kovacic|
|Forwards||Willian, Pedro, Hazard, Giroud, Hudson-Odoi, Higuain|
Confirmed Chelsea starting XI: Caballero; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, David Luiz, Alonso; Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic; Pedro, Higuain, Hazard
|Goalkeepers||Lloris, Vorm, Gazzaniga|
|Defenders||Trippier, Rose, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Sanchez, Foyth, Aurier, Davies, Walker-Peters|
|Midfielders||Lamela, Wanyama, Dier, Sissoko, Dembele, Eriksen, Lucas Moura, Winks, Nkoudou, Amos|
|Forwards||Kane, Son, Llorente, Janssen|
Confirmed Tottenham starting XI: Lloris; Trippier, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Davies; Sissoko, Winks; Lamela, Eriksen, Son; Kane
Betting & Match Odds
Chelsea are priced at 13/10 to win the match, according to bet 365, while a draw is available at 5/2. Tottenham can be backed at 9/4.
Maurizio Sarri’s time at Chelsea is surely growing short. The Italian may have tried to pass off Kepa Arrizabalaga’s refusal to be substituted in the Carabao Cup final as a “misunderstanding”, but to many, it was simply another indication that he has lost the dressing room.
Heightening tension further is the fact that Kepa, who was subsequently fined a week’s wages, was unable to prevent Manchester City leaving with the silverware during the penalty shootout.
All is not lost for Sarri, then, but Chelsea’s recent form has been feeble by the high standards expected at Stamford Bridge.
Three defeats have come in their last four Premier League outings, with the nature of those increasingly concerning. Arsenal, Bournemouth and Manchester City have all recorded easy wins over the Blues, and though they defeated Huddersfield 5-0 in the midst of that run, it is simply not good enough.
Spurs are the next opponents to tackle the Blues, with Mauricio Pochettino’s side third in the league but now six points behind leaders Liverpool after they were stunned 2-1 by Burnley at the weekend.
The manager has been charged with misconduct by the FA following his angry confrontation with referee Mike Dean in the aftermath of that fixture, and he believes that defeat was a fatal blow to his team’s title challenge.
“Of course, there are a lot of games to play but today, in my mind, we had to win the three points to put pressure on them,” he said.
Meanwhile, Harry Kane, whose return from injury was marked in a goal-scoring fashion, holds out a little more hope that he can lead his side to a first top-flight crown in 58 years.
“People have been talking about us not being in it, then we would win a few games and we'd be there,” he said.
“People will probably say now it's a two-horse race, but that's not our problem. All we can do is take care of ourselves.”
Spurs will be looking to do just that at Stamford Bridge – and that can only spell more bad news for Sarri.