Hakim Ziyech is expected to make his first start for Chelsea as they get ready to host Europa League holders Sevilla at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.
Chelsea will be hoping to get back to winning ways as they kick-off their Champions League campaign at Stamford Bridge, where they will welcome Europa League holders Sevilla on Matchday 1 of the group stages.
There are no fresh concerns since their 3-3 draw against Southampton on the weekend, but Frank Lampard is still without new signing Edouard Mendy and young Scotsman Billy Gilmour. Lampard spoke about his progress from injury in his pre-game press conference, and when the Blues could expect to see him back on the pitch.
“Billy is working really well,” Lampard explained.”He’s probably three or four weeks away from his return. He’s working outside with the physios at the moment, but we hope to integrate him into training with either ourselves or the Under-21s at some point soon. We are probably looking at the other side of the next international break with Billy, all being well.”
Azpi notes Sevilla beat Wolves and Man United in the Europa League recently so will be tough opposition for Chelsea, but he stresses we can beat anyone, especially at home. #CHESEV
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) October 19, 2020
After Kepa Arrizabalaga’s disastrous showing against Southampton, it would be safe to assume that Lampard will replace him with Willy Caballero in the six-yard box. Ahead of the veteran goalkeeper, Thiago Silva will be back to marshal the defence after missing the game on the weekend. He will start alongside Andreas Christensen in the heart of the Chelsea defence.
Ben Chilwell has enjoyed an excellent start to life in London and will be hoping to keep his form alive in the Champions League as he starts in the left-back position. On the opposite flank, Reece James will slot in as the right-back.
After being rested on the weekend, we can expect Mateo Kovacic to return to the starting XI as part of the double pivot, where he will replace Jorginho. N’Golo Kante, however, will retain his place and will be hoping to disrupt the Sevilla midfield triumvirate that are renowned for retaining possession like few others.
Mason Mount and Kai Havertz will fight it out for the no. 10 role, but the former is expected to be relegated to the bench. Mount started on the left-wing against Southampton, but that role will be covered by Christian Pulisic, while Timo Werner starts as the lone striker upfront.
The final piece of this team will arrive in the form of Hakim Ziyech, who is expected to make his first start for Chelsea. The Moroccan returned to action on this weekend for the first time since late August after picking up an injury against Brighton & Hove Albion in the pre-season. He was on the pitch for less than 20 minutes but looked ready to make his first start.
Chelsea Predicted XI: Caballero; James, Christensen, Silva, Chilwell; Kante, Kovacic; Ziyech, Havertz, Pulisic; Werner