Romelu Lukaku is in line to make his second Chelsea debut while N’Golo Kante could start when the Blues take on Arsenal in the Premier League.
Chelsea will be aiming to make it two wins in two in the 2021/22 Premier League when they make the trip to the Emirates Stadium to lock horns with local rivals Arsenal in the London derby.
Heading into the big game on Sunday evening, Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has been handed a double boost on the injury front as both Hakim Ziyech and N’Golo Kante have recovered from their respective injury issues and are in contention to feature. However, Christian Pulisic misses out after testing positive for coronavirus.
“With Christian, it’s unfortunately very easy to explain. He had a positive test and needs to follow the protocols so he won’t be available for the game. Hakim and N’Golo were both in training today and they had no problems. We need to have a more intense session tomorrow with them and the team before we decide but right now it seems positive that both can be in the squad for Sunday,” Tuchel said in his presser.
Following the win against Crystal Palace last weekend, the manager is likely to keep the changes to a minimum when they face Arsenal. Edouard Mendy is a guaranteed starter between the sticks for Chelsea while Trevoh Chalobah has forced his way into the side with a series of impressive displays and will start as one of the three centre-backs.
Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger should continue as the other two centre-backs while Cesar Azpilicueta lines up as the right-sided wing-back yet again. The in-form Marcos Alonso ought to pip Ben Chilwell for the starting berth on the left.
Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic started in the middle of the park last weekend and did a fine job. However, with Kante returning and with it being a London derby, we can expect Tuchel to thrust the Frenchman back into the starting XI on Sunday, at the expense of Chelsea’s new No. 8, Kovacic.
Pulisic’s absence creates an opening in attack for Chelsea and while Ziyech is back in training, it is likely that Kai Havertz gets the nod over him as one of the attacking midfielders, while Mason Mount is a certainty in the other slot.
Timo Werner was one of the few Chelsea stars that underwhelmed against Palace and should, in all likelihood, drop to the bench. In his place, it will be club-record signing Lukaku who will get to lead the line, making his second debut for the Blues ten years after his first appearance.
Tuchel dropped a hint of the same during his presser, saying, “We have one more training session to go but the week was a heavy load for him because he was in the group with the late starters from our guys so it was an overload week so far. Today [Friday] was lower intensity and tomorrow we have important training for the match but we are hoping he will be on the pitch for Sunday and things look like it.”
Chelsea Predicted XI: Mendy, Chalobah, Christensen, Rudiger, Azpilicueta, Kante, Jorginho, Alonso, Havertz, Mount, Lukaku