Thiago Silva and Hakim Ziyech will return, but Andreas Christensen will be unavailable when Chelsea and Manchester City face off at the Etihad on Saturday.
Chelsea will be eager to claw their way back in the Premier League title race when they lock horns with Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Thomas Tuchel has a new absentee hampering his preparations ahead of his side’s latest fixture, with Andreas Christensen the latest player to be sidelined after testing positive for COVID-19. The Dane has joined Trevoh Chalobah (hamstring), Ben Chilwell (knee) and Reece James (hamstring) in the list of unavailable players, while Edouard Mendy is in Cameroon representing Senegal at the Africa Cup of Nations.
During his pre-match press conference, Tuchel spoke about the players that will miss out against Manchester City, while also confirming that Kenedy is back at his disposal after being recalled from his loan spell at Flamengo.
“There is no injury news, which is maybe good news,” said Tuchel. “Trevoh Chalobah is out, Ben Chilwell is out, Reece James is out and we have one positive Covid test with Andreas Christensen so he is also out for the game.
“We cannot say Kenedy is the solution but he can be a solution. He is back and I’m very happy about that. It is a huge opportunity for him to make his mark at this club and in this team. We will try now from today on to push and support him as good as we can.”
While Kenedy could be an option for the left wing-back slot in the coming games, Marcos Alonso will start against Manchester City. On the opposite flank, Tuchel could deploy Hakim Ziyech in the hybrid role he has excelled in lately, with the Chelsea boss likely to revert to his trusted 3-4-2-1 formation after using the 4-2-2-2 against Tottenham Hotspur earlier this week.
The central defensive unit will consist of Thiago Silva, Antonio Rudiger and captain Cesar Azpilicueta, with Malang Sarr missing out despite a solid performance against Tottenham. Behind the three centre-backs, Kepa Arrizabalaga is a certain starter in the absence of Edouard Mendy.
Up ahead in midfield, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic should continue their partnership, even though N’Golo Kante is available for selection. Finally, Romelu Lukaku will likely spearhead the Chelsea attack against Manchester City, with Timo Werner and Mason Mount expected to pip Christian Pulisic and Kai Havertz to start in the other two attacking roles.
Predicted Chelsea XI: Kepa; Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva, Rudiger; Ziyech, Jorginho, Kovacic, Alonso; Mount, Werner; Lukaku