N’Golo Kante should replace Jorginho while Christian Pulisic will return as well when Chelsea take on Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday
Chelsea will be hoping to get their Premier League top four bid back on track when they lock horns with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday evening. And, Thomas Tuchel is missing the services of one first-team player ahead of his side’s latest fixture.
Thiago Silva is the only Chelsea squad member who is unavailable to take on Crystal Palace, as he serves a suspension accrued after being sent off against West Bromwich Albion last weekend. With the rest of his players at his disposal, Tuchel can indulge in an efficient rotation of his troops, seeing as the games are coming thick and fast.
During his pre-match press conference, the Chelsea boss commented on the status of his squad, saying, “We have to start over and over again, and this is the challenge. We do it step by step and we can rely with full fitness, we arrive without big injuries, hopefully it stays like this.”
While Tuchel might not make sweeping changes considering the significant advantage they have over FC Porto in their UEFA Champions League quarter-final tie, it is likely that he will make a few alterations to his side. In goal, though, there is no looking past Edouard Mendy while in front of him, Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger ought to hold their spots in the back three.
The first change is likely to come in midfield, where N’Golo Kante will likely replace Jorginho, with Mateo Kovacic being his partner in the double pivot. The wing-back pairing should have a new look as well, with Callum Hudson-Odoi and Marcos Alonso replacing Reece James and Ben Chilwell.
As for attack, Mason Mount, who has been so influential for Chelsea this season, retains his spot, but the key talking point for Tuchel leading up to the game has centred around Tammy Abraham and Christian Pulisic. The Chelsea manager addressed the topic during his presser.
“Tammy has had a rough time recently but he is working hard. He started two or three times and was substituted for tactical reasons, then he got injured and lost a bit of the connection that he had so now he has to play for his place in the squad. Fitness is always important for Christian because he has this huge physical impact in the amount of sprints and intensity that he can give to the team on the highest level.”
Pulisic ought to be recalled to the starting lineup and he will be one of the two attacking midfielders who will be stationed behind the central striker. And, following Kai Havertz’s sub-par showing against FC Porto, Olivier Giroud could get the chance to lead the line for Chelsea against Crystal Palace.
Chelsea Predicted XI: Mendy; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger; Hudson-Odoi, Kovacic, Kante, Alonso; Pulisic, Mount; Giroud