Callum Hudson-Odoi and Mason Mount are set to return, but Andreas Christensen will miss out when Chelsea welcome Arsenal to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.
Chelsea will be hoping to consolidate their place in the top four when they play hosts to Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night. And, Thomas Tuchel has one fresh injury concern to deal with ahead of his side’s latest fixture.
Andreas Christensen sustained a hamstring injury last time out against Manchester City and has been ruled out of the clash with Arsenal. In addition, Mateo Kovacic remains unavailable due to a hamstring issue of his own, and Tuchel provided an update on the duo during his pre-match press conference.
“He [Kovacic] is not ready for tomorrow, we have to postpone it to Wembley. His personal race is on to make it to the squad for Wembley. It was much better than we feared. We hope that he [Christensen] can come back in one of the two Leicester games. It will also be a tough one, but the season’s not finished for him hopefully. We have realistic hopes that he can make his comeback, at the latest, against Aston Villa.”
In the absence of Christensen, Kurt Zouma should be recalled to the starting lineup, with Thiago Silva possibly being preserved for the FA Cup final this weekend against Leicester City. Zouma will, therefore, start at the heart of Chelsea’s three-man central defensive unit, with Antonio Rudiger and captain Cesar Azpilicueta starting alongside him. In goal, there is no looking past Edouard Mendy.
Up ahead in midfield, Kovacic’s absence means Tuchel will continue to rotate between Jorginho, N’Golo Kante and Billy Gilmour, who has stepped up well while the Croat has been absent. And, Tuchel heaped praise on the Scottish prospect during his presser.
“Billy Gilmour had to step up now because we miss Kova so much and we play normally always with a double-six, so we were rotating constantly between N’Golo, Jorgi and Kova. Once we miss Kova now for so many games, so many weeks, it was on Billy to step up and I was very happy that he could deliver when it was needed.”
Gilmour should start once again in the middle of the park, with Jorginho being his partner this time around, as N’Golo Kante gets a breather ahead of the cup final. Reece James was the standout performer for Chelsea against Manchester City and should retain his spot as the right wing-back. On the left flank, though, Ben Chilwell will come in for Marcos Alonso.
Finally, the attacking unit should see wholesale changes, with Christian Pulisic, Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech all dropping out. In their stead, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Mason Mount and Kai Havertz will return. While Havertz will lead the line for Chelsea against Arsenal, Hudson-Odoi and Mount will play off of the German international as the two attacking midfielders.
Chelsea Predicted XI: Mendy; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Rudiger; James, Jorginho, Gilmour, Chilwell; Hudson-Odoi, Mount; Havertz