Tuchel makes five changes, 23-year-old returns and Rudiger starts final game: Chelsea predicted XI vs Watford
Chelsea go into the final game of the Premier League season this weekend without any pressure on their fixture.
The Blues host a Watford side on Sunday at Stamford Bridge that are already relegated, so let’s hope that makes for a free-flowing game to wrap up the 2021/22 campaign.
Thomas Tuchel’s side are guaranteed third in the league unless there’s a remarkable goal swing in Tottenham’s favour. It’s been disappointing the side weren’t able to stick in a title race beyond the opening few months of the season, but it’s been an encouraging year overall amid off-field difficulties.
Every fan would love to see some of the club’s academy players involved on the final day, which may be something to look out for on the bench.
The Chelsea Chronicle is predicting Blues manager Tuchel to make five changes to his side from the team that recorded a 1-1 draw with Leicester City on Thursday night. In fairness, it’s probably the toughest predicted line-up of the season.
We’ll stick with Edouard Mendy to start in goal again for Chelsea, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see understudy Kepa Arrizabalaga get a rare opportunity.
Trevoh Chalobah and Antonio Rudiger may keep their spots in the XI, with the latter starting his final ever game for the club before his summer exit.
The first of five changes could see club captain Cesar Azpilicueta replace Thiago Silva, who surely won’t be risked for a game just a few days on from Thursday.
Reece James and Marcos Alonso, who combined to score against Leicester in midweek, keep their starting positions at wing-back.
It could be a double change in the centre of the park, though.
Experienced Blues duo N’Golo Kante and Jorginho drop to the bench to be replaced by Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Saul Niguez. Ross Barkley could be an outside shot to get some rare minutes, though.
Romelu Lukaku’s enjoyed a run of starts to finish this season, so Tuchel may decide to see that pattern through.
However, Kai Havertz and 23-year-old teammate Mason Mount will surely earn a recall to the line-up. They’re arguably the side’s standout forwards that didn’t start against Leicester.
Hakim Ziyech, along with Christian Pulisic, could be the players to make way.
Predicted Chelsea line-up (3-4-1-2)
Azpilicueta Chalobah Rudiger
James Loftus-Cheek Saul Alonso
IN: Cesar Azpilicueta, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Saul Niguez, Mason Mount, Kai Havertz
OUT: Thiago Silva, Jorginho, N’Golo Kante, Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic