Forward-line and midfield changes Thomas Tuchel could make vs Spurs to halt Chelsea’s skid


Chelsea are in the midst of a bad run of form, without a win in their last four Premier League games with three of them being draws and a defeat to Manchester City last weekend.

Tuesday’s 1-1 draw down at Brighton left the Blues 12 points behind league leaders Man City, having played a game more than the reigning Premier League champions.

Thomas Tuchel has consistently bemoaned the scheduling of fixtures for his men, with nine games in December at the end of last year and they have already played six times in the last 16 days.

The head coach has given his players two days off this week for some much-needed rest, with the first team squad due back at Cobham for training on Friday to prepare for Sunday’s London derby against Spurs at Stamford Bridge.

The performance against Brighton, and to an extent the Man City defeat last weekend, will have seen Tuchel rack his brains as to how to set up his side against Tottenham this weekend.

Tuchel plumped for Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech at the Etihad, the latter keeping his place and also scoring against Brighton three days later, with Kai Havertz and Timo Werner both named among the substitutes at the AMEX.

Mason Mount also returned to the fold having been left out against City, leading to Tuchel saying the striker gave him the evil eyes as he is not one who likes being dropped.

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Mount, despite also underwhelming against Brighton, is likely to keep his place and so is Romelu Lukaku despite his recent issues on and off the field at Chelsea.

Tuchel has also employed a back four in games against Spurs in the Carabao Cup and could look to do so again to match up with Antonio Conte’s side, who arrive in SW6 on Sunday off the back of a very dramatic – and late – 3-2 win over Leicester City in midweek.

Kai Havertz had more impact than Lukaku had when he came off the bench against Brighton and was also an unused substitute for the previous two games, meaning he is fresher than most.

Timo Werner, who admitted in midweek he needs to be scoring more goals for his team, is also pushing for a start having come off the bench in the last two matches for Chelsea.

Arguably, Tuchel could completely refresh is frontline for the Spurs game should he choose to.

In defence, Ben Chilwell and Reece James are both out through injury, Malang Sarr has impressed on the left in recent weeks and could be included again from the off.

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We await news of Andreas Christensen could be back in contention after his Covid absence, while Trevoh Chalobah is also thought to have returned to training this week after a hamstring injury.

It would be remiss if Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger didn’t start, but perhaps there could be changes on the flanks with Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso playing far more games than anticipated.

Options are thin on the ground though, especially on the right if Tuchel goes with a back five. If it is to be a four then Azpilicueta would be a big favourite to keep his place.

In midfield, N’Golo Kante has played two games in quick succession after his Covid-enforced absence and it might be a bit of a risk for Tuchel to play him for a third time in a week.

That said, Chelsea are a worse team without Kante in it. Mateo Kovacic was rested in midweek for a little while before emerging from the bench in the second half. Jorginho might be the player to make way if Tuchel goes with a double-pivot in the centre of the park.

All in all, the head coach has a bit of a headache on the horizon for the Spurs game, especially in the final third, which is something he has had to contend with all season.

Source by Football London

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