Sarri confident Chelsea will avoid Europa League hangover at Southampton

Chelsea have made a fine start under Maurizio Sarri. [Picture: Adam Davy/PA Wire]

Maurizio Sarri believes Chelsea can avoid a Europa League hangover in Sunday’s Premier League game at Southampton.

Chelsea dropped points for the first time this season after their opening Europa League win at PAOK in Greece, drawing 0-0 at West Ham.

Sarri made eight changes for Thursday’s 1-0 win over Hungarian champions Vidi in the second Europa League game and is optimistic there will be no ill-effects at St Mary’s.

The head coach said: “This match we have changed eight players. In Greece I think only five. I hope we can do better this time.”

Eden Hazard is expected to start, with Sarri likely to revert to his first-choice line-up as he seeks to maintain Chelsea’s unbeaten start to their Premier League campaign.

Defenders Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Antonio Rudiger and Marcos Alonso are set to return as the Blues chase a sixth win from eight games.

Olivier Giroud is likely to replace Morata and Jorginho is anticipated to come in for Cesc Fabregas, with N’Golo Kante also likely to be back in the starting XI.

Willian or Pedro will likely be in competition for one place alongside Giroud and Hazard.

Mateo Kovacic played the full 90 minutes against Vidi, so could drop to the substitutes’ bench, with Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek options in midfield.