What exactly is Thomas Tuchel’s strongest Chelsea lineup when we return from the international break?
The Blues head coach has plenty of options at his disposal within his squad, especially when some key players will be coming back from injury.
Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku have missed the last five games after both picked up problems in the home win over Malmo in the Champions League.
Lukaku has teased on social media that he is back in training and is expected to return soon after the international break, perhaps for the Leicester game on November 21.
Werner’s recovery from a hamstring injury isn’t quite as well known, he’s not been as vocal as Lukaku has been on social media for sure, but Tuchel had always planned for him to be back after the break.
Mateo Kovacic is also continuing his recovery from his own hamstring issue though his return is not expected straight after the break.
Christian Pulisic and N’Golo Kante are both on international duty having recovered from their own injury issues over the last few weeks.
With the emergence of Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Trevoh Chalobah this season, Tuchel has been able to find cover in key positions where numbers have not been quite as big as he would have liked within his squad.
For the Leicester game on the horizon, Tuchel could have a near full-strength squad to choose from depending on the recovery of some of his key stars. He will also be hoping that none of his players pick up any injuries across the international break.
Edouard Mendy will almost certainly start in goal for that game at the King Power and with the back five in front of him.
Reece James is one of the in-form players in the Premier League, let alone just Chelsea, and is an automatic pick at right wing-back.
Tuchel has a decision on the right side of his centre back three with Trevoh Chalobah, Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta all vying for a spot. On current form, it goes to Christensen but Tuchel has shown he is willing to rotate on that side of the back three.
Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger will likely fill the other two places. Silva is prove to be rotated which means there are still chances for the likes of Chalobah but if he’s fit then Silva invariably plays.
At left wing-back, Ben Chilwell has now usurped Marcos Alonso for the role, scoring three times since his recall to the Blues side at the expense of the Spaniard.
Into midfield and Tuchel again has options. Kovacic’s injury is a frustration so the likely strongest pair is Ballon D’Or nominees N’Golo Kante and Jorginho .
So, into the front three. Romelu Lukaku is an automatic start when he comes back to fitness after his ankle injury. It’s a question about who starts alongside the Belgian marksman in the frontline.
Timo Werner’s fitness will be key but we are unsure when the German will be back from his hamstring issue. Kai Havertz is likely to get the nod for the Leicester game and Tuchel will also be hopeful that Mason Mount has recovered well enough from his tooth surgery.
Hakim Ziyech, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Christian Pulisic and Werner are all options for Tuchel, perhaps you could include Loftus-Cheek and Barkley in there too as players who could slot in.
It’s the strongest area of the pitch for Tuchel but Mount’s relationship with and Havertz’s ability to roam and stretch defences means they are the most likely two to start.
Our strongest Blues team: Mendy; James, Christensen, Silva, Rudiger, Chilwell; Jorginho, Kante; Mount, Havertz, Lukaku.
Source by Football London