Chelsea return to Premier League action, as they host Fulham in a crunch fixture on Saturday. The Blues are currently fourth in the league table, having secured 58 points in their 33 games so far. A win on Saturday, could help them gain a six-point lead over West Ham, who do have a game in hand.
Chelsea secured a hard-fought draw against Real Madrid over the midweek. The Blues have an advantage going into the second leg of the Champions League semifinals, having a precious away goal. Thomas Tuchel’s men were held to a 1-1 draw in Spain on Tuesday, and will host the Merengues for the home leg next week.
Thomas Tuchel is expected to make a few changes to the starting lineup on Saturday. Antonio Rudiger and Mateo Kovacic are both ruled out for the clash against Fulham. Apart from the injured duo, the German manager has a fully fit squad at his disposal.
A forced change in defence; Marcos Alonso to start on Saturday
Eduardo Mendy will continue to start between the sticks for the Blues. Antonio Rudiger has been ruled out of the clash against Fulham, so Thomas Tuchel will have to make a forced change. Kurt Zouma will replace the German, with César Azpilicueta and Thiago Silva holding their places at centre-back. The duo put in a good shift at the back, against Real Madrid over the midweek.
Ben Chilwell will get his much-deserved rest on Saturday, with Marcos Alonso coming back into the starting lineup. The Spaniard will operate from the left-wing back position and will hope to grab his opportunity with both hands. Reece James will start at the right-wing back position. The youngster has been impressive going forward, and has put in some delicious balls into the box.
In the absence of Mateo Kovacic, N’Golo Kante and Jorginho will continue to start in the centre of the park. The duo have safeguarded Chelsea’s defence in the past few matches, and have been rock-solid.
Rotation on the attacking front likely
Mason Mount is a certain starter against Fulham. The 22 year-old has been Chelsea’s standout player this season, and has secured vital points for the Blues. Mount will operate as the left-attacking midfielder, whereas, Hakim Ziyech will earn his spot in the playing eleven. The Moroccan will start as the left-attacking midfielder. The former Ajax midfielder scored a vital goal against Manchester City in the FA Cup semifinals, which proved to be the winner.
Timo Werner scored the only goal of the match against the Hammers last week, however, he is expected to start from the bench on Saturday. His German teammate, Kai Havertz has often been deployed as a striker, and will hope to add to his goal tally for this season. Havertz’s last goal came against Crystal Palace a few weeks ago, where he opened the scoring for the Blues.