Timo Werner will replace Christian Pulisic, while Reece James will be in contention to feature when Chelsea and Brentford face off on Saturday.
Chelsea will hope to consolidate the third spot on the Premier League table when they play hosts to Brentford at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon. And Thomas Tuchel does not have many pressing fitness issues to deal with ahead of his side’s latest fixture.
Ben Chilwell remains a long-term absentee amid his ongoing recovery from a knee injury. Callum Hudson-Odoi is still not fit enough to return to the matchday squad, even though he has resumed training. The third player missing for Chelsea against Brentford will be Christian Pulisic.
During his pre-match press conference, Tuchel revealed that Pulisic is experiencing jetlag and has not trained much since returning late from international duty with the USMNT. The Chelsea boss also provided other team news updates in his presser, including the confirmation of Reece James’s return.
Tuchel said, “Hudson-Odoi and Chilwell will miss the game tomorrow. Callum still feels his Achilles a bit and has some lower back problems. Everyone else was in training. Reece James is ready to go and is in the squad.”
“Thiago is a bit different than Christian. Thiago did not play the third match with Brazil, and he came back one day earlier. He did not have the same jetlag as Christian. He was here yesterday and trained today so is available for tomorrow.”
“For Christian, we need to decide. He did not train today. We decided to give him another recovery session today, so he did not train. He is here but feels very tired due to the time difference. He played 85 minutes one and a half days ago. He played all three matches for USA. We will figure out if it makes sense for him to play tomorrow.”
With Christian Pulisic likely to be unavailable to take on Brentford, Timo Werner will get a rare start from the left flank. Kai Havertz should spearhead the Chelsea attack on Saturday, with Mason Mount taking up an advanced position on the right side of the Blues’ offensive unit.
As for the midfield unit, Tuchel will likely go ahead with utilising the services of Jorginho, N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic, as he could employ the 4-3-3 formation against Brentford. Jorginho will sit at the base of the midfield trifecta, with Kante and Kovacic being the box-to-box midfielders.
The back-four should feature Thiago Alcantara and Antonio Rudiger at the heart of the Chelsea defence, with Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta the full-backs. James will thus miss out versus Brentford, with Tuchel likely to preserve him for the UEFA Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid next week. There is no looking past Edouard Mendy between the sticks.
Predicted Chelsea XI: Mendy; Azpilicueta, Silva, Rudiger, Alonso; Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic; Mount, Havertz, Werner