Thomas Tuchel could change the team’s shape, with key stars Jorginho, Kai Havertz and Trevoh Chalobah expected to return against West Ham United.
After a dismal defeat at home, Chelsea’s third in a row at Stamford Bridge in all competitions, Thomas Tuchel could make a few tweaks to the shape and personnel for the game against West Ham United on Sunday. The focus will be to arrest their slump on home soil, but the Chelsea manager will have his mind on getting three points.
London derbies have been a tricky affair of late for Chelsea, and they would be eager to set the record straight against a tricky opposition like West Ham. In terms of the team news, there are no new updates from the midweek fixture, as some key players remain absent.
In his pre-match press conference, Tuchel confirmed the absence of Antonio Rudiger and Mateo Kovacic. He said, “Both of them are not back for Sunday’s match, but also no other [new] injuries.”
Beyond that, the suggestion that there are no new injuries affirms that Andreas Christensen’s half-time withdrawal was a tactical one than the injury problem Chelsea fans feared at the time. The Danish international may not find a place in the side, and Trevoh Chalobah could take his place.
Meanwhile, Thiago Silva should be on hand to replace Malang Sarr, while Cesar Azpilicueta could be on the bench, with Tuchel likely to change the shape of his team. The German tactician could go with a back-four against West Ham, with Reece James and Marcos Alonso taking up traditional full-back roles.
A 4-2-2-2 system could be on the cards, with Jorginho returning to the starting lineup. The Italian international could line up alongside N’Golo Kante, despite the Frenchman being terribly out of form recently.
Mason Mount and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are likely to take up advanced roles between the central midfield zone and wander around with freedom behind the front two. After a few good performances, Timo Werner will play in a strike partnership, alongside Kai Havertz.
If Tuchel implements those changes, the Chelsea bench may look strong with Christensen, Sarr, Azpilicueta and Romelu Lukaku all featuring there. Hakim Ziyech may have a chance to be included from the start, but the manager would prefer to keep him on the bench for this one.
Predicted Chelsea XI: Mendy; James, Chalobah, Silva, Alonso; Jorginho, Kante; Mount, Loftus-Cheek; Havertz, Werner