Reece James and Thiago Silva are set to return, but Trevoh Chalobah will miss out when Chelsea take on West Ham United on Saturday.
Chelsea will be aiming to consolidate their place at the summit of the Premier League when they lock horns with West Ham United at the London Stadium on Saturday afternoon. And Thomas Tuchel has been handed a mixed bag of updates on the team news front ahead of his side’s latest fixture.
The good news comes in the form of Reece James and Jorginho’s return, with the duo fit to take on West Ham. However, Trevoh Chalobah has been ruled out of the short trip to the London Stadium after sustaining a hamstring injury earlier this week against Watford.
The youngster has joined N’Golo Kante (knee), Mateo Kovacic (hamstring) and Ben Chilwell (knee) on the sidelines. During his pre-match press conference, Tuchel provided an update on the players who could miss out against West Ham and those who might return.
The Chelsea boss said, “Jorginho, Timo Werner and Reece James are training and available. We did not train with Mateo Kovacic, N’Golo, Ben Chilwell and Trevoh Chalobah today, and they are all out. It’s a lot of midfield players. We have missed Kova for many weeks, and also NG. Ben Chilwell is a long one. For Trevoh we need more examinations to see how bad the injury is.”
“It’s important to have Reece and Jorgi back. Reece is the specialist on the side. Jorgi is the guy left from the three of him, Kova and NG on whose shoulders we put the central role over a long period. I’m absolutely happy with the way Ruben has stepped in, but we are happy Jorgi is back in training.”
James’s availability means he is a certainty in the right wing-back slot, while on the opposite flank, there is no looking past Marcos Alonso in the absence of Chilwell. The wing-back duo will flank Jorginho and Ruben Loftus-Cheek in the middle of the park, with the former set to replace Saul Niguez.
At the back, Chalobah’s absence means Thiago Silva, who would have returned anyway, becomes an automatic pick alongside Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger in the central defensive unit. The three centre-backs will provide cover to Edouard Mendy in the Chelsea goal.
At the opposite end, Romelu Lukaku is in line to make his first start for Chelsea since returning from an ankle injury. The Belgian striker will likely be supplemented by Mason Mount and Kai Havertz, leaving Timo Werner, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech as the backup options on the bench.
Predicted Chelsea XI: Mendy; Christensen, Silva, Rudiger; James, Loftus-Cheek, Jorginho, Alonso; Mount, Havertz; Lukaku