Mateo Kovacic will replace N’Golo Kante while Kai Havertz will be in contention to feature when Chelsea take on Aston Villa on Sunday.
Chelsea will be looking to seal a top four finish in the Premier League when they lock horns with Aston Villa at Villa Park on Sunday evening. And, Thomas Tuchel could have a full-strength squad at his disposal heading into his side’s final league fixture this season.
Andreas Christensen will definitely be at the disposal of the Chelsea boss after recovering from the hamstring injury he sustained against Manchester City earlier this month. In addition, N’Golo Kante and Kai Havertz could also be available, with the former having limped off against Leicester City in the Premier League earlier this week, while the former missed the game due to a knock.
Tuchel did provide an update on the aforementioned trio during his pre-match press conference, saying, “Andreas Christensen will be in the squad. He did full training today and also yesterday without any problems so he will be back.
“Kai Havertz did a test today and will be in team training tomorrow. With N’Golo, it’s going to be very close but still some hopes that he maybe joins team training tomorrow. If not, then he will join on Monday.”
Tuchel is unlikely to take a chance with Kante, with the UEFA Champions League final against Manchester City just a week away. In his stead, Mateo Kovacic ought to return to the starting lineup for the first time in over a month after making an appearance off the bench last time out. The Croat will partner Jorginho in the midfield double pivot for Chelsea.
The rest of the Chelsea starting lineup should remain unchanged, although Christensen could be in line to replace Thiago Silva, so as the Brazilian gets a rest ahead of the Champions League final. One key change, though, will be tactical, with Reece James and Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta swapping places.
James was a part of the three-man central defensive unit in the two games against Leicester City, with his pace being used to negate the influence of Jamie Vardy. Versus Aston Villa, though, James ought to return to his usual right wing-back slot, with Ben Chilwell a certainty on the left flank.
Azpilicueta, as iterated, will be a part of the back three, where he should have Antonio Rudiger and Silva as his partners, meaning Christensen misses out. In goal, there is no looking past Edouard Mendy. Finally, in attack, Timo Werner should once again lead the line for Chelsea against Villa, with Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount playing off of him.
Chelsea Predicted XI: Mendy; Azpilicueta, Silva, Rudiger; James, Kovacic, Jorginho, Chilwell; Pulisic, Mount; Werner