Tammy Abraham is in contention to feature while Mason Mount and Timo Werner should start when Chelsea face off against Southampton in the Premier League.
Chelsea will be looking to extend their unbeaten run under new manager Thomas Tuchel to seven games in all competitions when they lock horns with Southampton at St. Mary’s on Saturday afternoon.
Leading into the game, the Blues have been handed a couple of injury boosts as Kai Havertz is fit again while Tammy Abraham is also in contention to feature after having come off with a serious-looking ankle injury against Newcastle United last time out. Thiago Silva, however, remains unavailable, while Christian Pulisic is also an injury doubt.
“Thiago will be out for the game. We have some issues with the calf of Pulisic. It’s nothing big, it just feels tight and a bit of a risk. Tammy feels very good. He is free for training today and, if things go well, he’s in the squad. Kai Havertz has been training as well and will join us at Southampton,” Tuchel said in his pre-match press conference.
The German tactician is likely to have an eye on the Champions League tie against Atletico Madrid when he selects his team. However, there are unlikely to be a whole lot of changes as Chelsea look to consolidate their place in the top four of the Premier League.
There will be one notable alteration though, with Kepa Arrizalabaga set to make way for Edouard Mendy in the Chelsea goal after making a surprise start in the 2-0 win against Newcastle United. No changes are expected in the three-man defensive unit, with captain Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger all in line to start again.
Reece James and Ben Chilwell haven’t been able to get a run of games under Tuchel. However, given the form that Callum Hudson-Odoi and Marcos Alonso have shown of late in the wing-back roles, dropping them becomes hard for the German.
The same goes for the central midfield partnership of Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho, both of whom have flourished un the new manager’s system, managing to keep N’Golo Kante out of the starting XI. And that might be the case once again when Chelsea take on Southampton on Saturday.
Up ahead in attack, Hakim Ziyech has been unlucky to miss out on the last couple of matches. But, with Mason Mount and Timo Werner stealing the limelight in Monday’s game against Newcastle, the duo is expected to be retained in the Chelsea attack.
Finally, the availability of Abraham is a positive development for Chelsea. However, with the Atletico Madrid game in mind, the England international may not be risked, meaning Olivier Giroud gets the nod as the centre-forward against Southampton.
Chelsea Predicted XI: Mendy; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger; Hudson-Odoi, Kovacic, Jorginho, Alonso; Mount, Werner; Giroud.