Chelsea are currently preparing for tomorrow’s Premier League showdown against Manchester City.
The Blues travel to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday afternoon knowing any slim hope of a title challenge depends on the weekend result.
Thomas Tuchel’s side are second in the league table, while hosts Man City are 10 points clear running away with things at the top. It feels like a must-win game if anyone is to stand a chance of catching Pep Guardiola’s Man City this campaign.
The Chelsea Chronicle is predicting Tuchel will make four changes to the Blues line-up from the team that beat Tottenham 1-0 in midweek to reach the Carabao Cup final. Most importantly, the German manager may move away from the 4-2-2-2 system to his more trusted 3-4-3 formation.
Chelsea return to back three
It’s been great to see the Blues show versatility recently in using a back four. It would be a major risk to try it out against Man City, though.
Thiago Silva, who made his comeback appearance off the bench against Spurs a couple of days ago, is one of four changes. He’s likely to slot into the heart of the back three, while Malang Sarr drops out.
That leaves Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger either side of him as starting centre-halves, while Kepa Arrizabalaga continues in net during the absence of Edouard Mendy.
Double change in midfield
£30million star N’Golo Kante could return to the XI at the Etihad Stadium in place of Jorginho, forming a midfield partnership alongside Mateo Kovacic. A Kante-Kovacic axis in the centre of the park will be crucial in trying to get the better of City.
Club captain Cesar Azpilicueta can continue in the line-up and shift forward from right-back to right wing-back effortlessly.
A return to a back three could see Marcos Alonso recalled as the left wing-back, so Callum Hudson-Odoi drops to the bench.
Big competition in attack
The toughest prediction comes in how the forward line will shape up.
Surely Blues ever-present Mason Mount will be in the starting XI once again. Also, centre-forward Romelu Lukaku was signed for huge fixtures like the one against City tomorrow.
The fourth and final change could see Timo Werner drop out of the team, with a queue of players waiting to replace him.
Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech are definitely in with a shout of playing, but we’ve gone with American speedster Christian Pulisic to complete the front three.
Christensen Silva Rudiger
Azpi Kante Kovacic Alonso
Mount Lukaku Pulisic
IN: Thiago Silva, Marcos Alonso, N’Golo Kante, Christian Pulisic
OUT: Malang Sarr, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Jorginho, Timo Werner