Tuchel makes four changes as £24m man is dropped, Kovacic returns to start: Chelsea predicted XI vs Tottenham

Chelsea are currently back on the training pitches gearing up towards this Sunday’s massive Premier League fixture against Tottenham.

The entire Blues squad has had the last two days off to rest, but all focus is now on the weekend.

It’s a vital Premier League match where Thomas Tuchel’s side really need three points to try tighten their grip on third in the table.

Chelsea have alarmingly won just one of their previous seven league matches. However, they’ve beaten Sunday’s opponents twice already in January in cup games.

The Chelsea Chronicle is predicting that Tuchel is going to make four changes to the starting line-up that played in the 1-1 draw against Brighton on Tuesday. It’s a team in a 4-2-2-2 system, something the manager’s used fairly regularly in the past few matches.

Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images

One change in Chelsea defence

With some defenders still out of action, Chelsea could stick with a back four.

Blues goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga continues in-between the sticks, with a solid centre-back pairing Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger ahead of him once again. Club captain Cesar Azpilicueta continues at right-back, too.

£24million left-back Marcos Alonso could be dropped from the starting XI after playing a lot of football recently. His replacement is youngster Malang Sarr, who’s looked decent when given an opportunity by Tuchel.

Midfield

First of all, Mateo Kovacic returns to the line-up in place of Jorginho. It’s a change that Tuchel’s used to making to freshen up his team.

There may be a temptation to bring Saul Niguez into the side, but perhaps N’Golo Kante will continue to get the nod for a game of this magnitude. The prospect of a fight for the top four will become more real if they don’t win in a couple of days time.

Mount, who’s still looking for his best form, may continue in one of Chelsea’s attacking midfield positions. There is a requirement in these positions to show creativity on the ball and drift from out wide into central areas.

The third change could see American speedster Christian Pulisic return. He replaces Hakim Ziyech despite his goal against Brighton.

Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

Strike partnership

Timo Werner may earn a recall to the Blues attack in place of Callum Hudson-Odoi.

Kai Havertz can count himself massively unlucky if he’s named on the bench yet again, but we are predicting a forward combination of Werner next to Romelu Lukaku.

Tuchel is desperately still trying to find his best attack.

Predicted line-up

Kepa

Azpilicueta Silva Rudiger Sarr

Kovacic Kante

Mount Pulisic

Werner Lukaku

IN: Malang Sarr, Mateo Kovacic, Christian Pulisic, Timo Werner

OUT: Marcos Alonso, Jorginho, Hakim Ziyech, Callum Hudson-Odoi

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A sports journalist who graduated from Staffordshire University in 2016 and is a Chelsea supporter. Loves anything football or cricket related when it comes to England.