Chelsea make the trip north on Wednesday night to face Premier League strugglers Leeds United at Elland Road. The Blues will be hoping they can turn around their poor form ahead of this weekend’s FA Cup final, having only won once in their last five league matches.
The latest of those was a draw at home to Wolves, where Thomas Tuchel ’s men blew a two-goal lead late into injury time. With fourth-placed Arsenal just one point behind and Tottenham in fifth also lurking, it makes for a tense ending to seal Champions League qualification.
Leeds won’t be the easiest place to travel, either. Jesse Marsch’s side have dipped back into the relegation zone after a 2-1 defeat away at the Gunners on Sunday, with key defender Luke Ayling also set to miss the tie after his straight red card.
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The manager will have to make one decision over the starting place of Romelu Lukaku, who was close to his very best on Saturday with a brace against Wolves. The goals took the Belgian to 14 for the season across all competitions, making him the club’s top scorer, despite having a tough period since returning.
Following his double at the weekend, Tuchel wasn’t keen to be drawn into talking about individual performances, instead of lamenting his whole team dropping points: “Okay, good performance, but this is for sure not the moment to talk about individual performances and praise players. We do this as a team, and we lost crucial points. This is not the moment to praise individuals.”
It remains to be seen if Lukaku is likely to be called upon again in midweek, given the importance of Champions League qualification but also the upcoming FA Cup final with Liverpool. It may be the ideal time for the forward to find some form.
With that in mind, football.london takes a look at the full squad at Tuchel’s disposal in what has become a must-win game.
Goalkeepers: Edouard Mendy, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Marcus Bettinelli
Defenders: Trevoh Chalobah, Malang Sarr, Thiago Silva, Marcos Alonso, Reece James, Cesar Azpilicueta, Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen
Midfielders: Saul Niguez, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Mason Mount, Mateo Kovacic, Ross Barkley,
Forwards: Kenedy, Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic, Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner
Source by Football London