The Italian’s days in charge at Stamford Bridge could be numbered after Sunday’s humiliating 6-0 defeat at Manchester City, their heaviest loss in 28 years and also their fourth consecutive away defeat.
But Sarri is still there for now as the London club continue a gruelling run of fixtures — the two legs of the tie against Malmo come either side of the FA Cup fifth round clash with Manchester United. Another meeting with City in the League Cup final follows.
“It’s difficult to accept such a heavy defeat, but we have a lot of matches coming up to lift our heads and give us hope for good results at the end of this season,” France midfielder N’Golo Kante told Chelseafc.com after Sunday’s game.
Chelsea breezed through their group despite Sarri regularly leaving out his leading players, and he is likely to rotate again in Sweden.
With this being the close season in Sweden, Malmo — coached by the German former Manchester City striker Uwe Roesler — have not played a competitive game since the end of the group stage in December.
Arsenal up against Hleb
For Chelsea and their London rivals Arsenal, the resurgence of Manchester United in recent weeks increases the need to keep going in the Europa League — a victory in the final in Baku in May could still be their best hope of making it to next season’s Champions League.