Kai Havertz could replace Callum Hudson-Odoi, but Romelu Lukaku is expected to keep his place in the side when Chelsea face off against Tottenham.
Chelsea will be raring to get their Premier League title challenge back on track with a win when they lock horns with London rivals Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on Sunday evening.
Chelsea do not have any new roster issues to deal with leading up to the game. However, Thomas Tuchel continues to be without the services of Ben Chilwell, Reece James and Trevoh Chalobah, while Andreas Christensen is still recovering from COVID-19. The manager did provide a positive update on James and Chalobah in his pre-match presser, confirming that the pair were closing in on a return.
“We have a timeframe [on Reece’s return] but we will not make it public because we will just get asked about the timeframe,” Tuchel said. “He is back on the pitch which is good news, but he is in individual training so far away from being a part of the squad for Sunday. Trevoh Chalobah is back in team training but also way too early to play the game on Sunday at this kind of level.”
With Edouard Mendy still away on international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations, Kepa Arrizabalaga should start in goal for Chelsea again when Tottenham come visiting. The manager recently made the switch to a 4-2-2-2 setup and is expected to stick with that shape against Antonio Conte’s side.
Antonio Rudiger and Thiago Silva will line up at the heart of the Chelsea backline, flanked by Marcos Alonso and captain Cesar Azpilicueta, who will be the full-backs on the left and right sides respectively. There is no looking past N’Golo Kante and Jorginho in the double-pivot in the middle of the park, with Mateo Kovacic providing an option from the bench.
Hakim Ziyech, who scored a goal in the draw against Brighton & Hove Albion earlier this week, should hold on to his place. He will continue to be partnered by Mason Mount as the second attacking midfielder for Chelsea, with the pair shouldering the creative burden against Tottenham.
Callum Hudson-Odoi was poor in the midweek clash and should drop out of the starting XI to make way for Kai Havertz. The German international is likely to be partnered with Romelu Lukaku, who himself needs to turn things around after going through a lean patch in front of goal. Timo Werner will again be an option from the bench.
Predicted Chelsea XI: Kepa, Azpilicueta, Silva, Rudiger, Alonso, Kante, Jorginho, Ziyech, Mount, Havertz, Lukaku