Defender makes first PL start in four games, two forwards recalled: Chelsea predicted XI vs Leeds

If Chelsea fans could pick one stadium as their final away fixture of the Premier League season, Elland Road would probably be pretty high on the list.

Purely because of the fiery rivalry forged between the two sides; nothing to do with geographical proximity.

And to have it on a Wednesday night is not ideal either.

That is the scenario facing the 1000-odd supporters as they make the trip to Leeds United tomorrow evening for their last big journey of the campaign.

What a huge occasion it could be as well.

Leeds are still fighting for their top-flight survival, whilst Chelsea’s Champions League status is not yet secured.

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With an FA Cup final on the horizon against Liverpool, Thomas Tuchel’s men need their dress rehearsal to go swimmingly to avoid sinking on the weekend.

Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images

Those players picked to face Leeds will be fighting for their place at Wembley, therefore expect only a handful of changes from the draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers.  

Here’s our predicted Chelsea XI:

Defence

It goes without saying Edouard Mendy remains in goal.

Antonio Rudiger and Thiago Silva are also likely to keep their place, with the only alteration arriving in the form of Andreas Christensen.

The 26-year-old hasn’t featured in the past four league fixtures due to injury, but did return to the bench last Saturday.

Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

He may well replace Cesar Azpilicueta to potentially protect him ahead of the cup final.

Midfield

Reece James stays put at right wing-back, whilst Marcos Alonso holds onto the left flank, despite suggestions he had an argument with Tuchel during the Wolves fixture.

GOAL report that the Spaniard will in fact start, with Chelsea denying a bust-up between player and coach.

Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho partner up in midfield, following the Italian’s return to training after a mini-injury break.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek makes way for Jorginho.

Attack

After his recent brace, Romelu Lukaku deserves an opportunity to increase his scoring tally before the conclusion of the term.

Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images

Given the task of supplying the striker could be Mason Mount and Hakim Ziyech.

Both forwards were unused substitutes in the previous match, giving the responsibility to Timo Werner and Christian Pulisic instead, yet neither managed to make too much of an impact.

Mendy; Rudiger, Silva, Christensen; Alonso, Jorginho, Kovacic, James; Mount, Lukaku, Ziyech

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.