Christian Pulisic is set to return, but Timo Werner and Thiago Silva will likely be benched when Chelsea take on Manchester City on Saturday.
Chelsea will be hoping to consolidate fourth place on the Premier League table when they lock horns with Manchester City at the Etihad on Saturday. And, Thomas Tuchel has no fresh injury concerns to contend with ahead of his side’s latest fixture.
Mateo Kovacic remains the only absentee for Chelsea heading into this weekend’s game against Manchester City and during his pre-match press conference, Tuchel confirmed the same, saying, “In terms of the injury list, it does not change much. We still have training to go later today where things could change but right now, everyone is ready apart from Kova.”
“Kova is unfortunately still out. We hope to bring him back for the game against Arsenal and then hopefully for Wembley [FA Cup final v Leicester]. It will be tight for the Arsenal game but for tomorrow, for sure, he will be out. Everyone else is available for tomorrow’s match.”
Tuchel then went on to suggest that a few rotations could be in order against Manchester City. The Chelsea boss added, “I imagine we’ll need some fresh legs and fresh minds, guys who want to show they deserve a chance in a big fixture. I have to look at who is available after training today. There is a high possibility we will see some changes.”
The first change could come in defence, with the ageing Thiago Silva due a rest. Silva’s place at the heart of Chelsea’s three-man central defensive unit will likely be taken up by Andreas Christensen, who should have Antonio Rudiger and Cesar Azpilicueta, who moves back into the back three, as his partners. In goal, there is no looking past Edouard Mendy, with Kepa Arrizabalaga missing out again.
Up ahead in midfield, with Kovacic continuing to be sidelined, N’Golo Kante and Jorginho pretty much pick themselves in the double pivot, although Billy Gilmour is a rotation option as well. However, the magnitude of the game means Gilmour will not start and instead be an option off the bench.
Meanwhile, the right wing-back slot vacated by Cesar Azpilicueta will be filled by Reece James, who will carry a great deal of threat with his deliveries. On the opposite flank, Ben Chilwell appears to be due a rest, but will likely be afforded one in the next game against Arsenal, meaning Marcos Alonso misses out.
Finally, in attack, one final change is expected, with Christian Pulisic coming in for Timo Werner. Werner was in fine touch earlier this week against Real Madrid, but could be given a breather, with Pulisic getting a chance to impress. The ever-improving Kai Havertz will lead the line for Chelsea versus Manchester City, with Mason Mount completing the starting eleven for the visitors.
Chelsea Predicted XI: Mendy; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger; James, Jorginho, Kante, Chilwell; Pulisic, Mount; Havertz