Tuchel makes four changes from FA Cup semi and restores Arteta's nemesis: Chelsea predicted XI vs Arsenal
It feels like an age since Chelsea swatted aside Arsenal on the Premier League’s second weekend.
A lot has changed in the period between that 2-0 victory at the Emirates and the reverse fixture set to be played at Stamford Bridge tomorrow.
Thomas Tuchel’s men have been crowned Club World Cup champions and reached two cup finals, whilst almost simultaneously falling out of the race for league supremacy.
Plus, there’s the small matter of a club takeover to consider.
Meanwhile across the capital, Arsenal have overcome their early-season wobble and are in contention to finish inside the top four.
However, their European fate may be decided in the next two weeks, as they ready up for an extremely tough schedule.
They host Manchester United on Saturday, before making the relatively short trip to West Ham United at the start of May.
But not until after they’ve contested another of their London adversaries.
Here’s how we think Chelsea will line-up on Wednesday evening against the Gunners:
Not usually one for continuity, we actually expect Tuchel to keep his team relatively similar to the one that faced Crystal Palace in the FA Cup semi-final.
Edouard Mendy of course remains in goal, as do Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen in defence.
Thiago Silva does return to the backline, allowing Reece James to retain his right wing-back position and pushing Cesar Azpilicueta to the bench.
Mateo Kovacic’s injury at Wembley should allow Ruben Loftus-Cheek to reclaim his midfield slot, alongside N’Golo Kante, who replaces Jorginho.
Marco Alonso stays put on the left, as he probably will from now until the end of the campaign.
Timo Werner’s performances in the past three matches warrant him a fourth successive start.
The same can be said for Mason Mount, who will be aiming to score in four matches in a row for Chelsea.
Perhaps the biggest call resting on Tuchel’s shoulders is whether to reinclude Romelu Lukaku to the XI.
He hasn’t started since the 2-0 FA Cup win over Middlesbrough almost exactly a month ago, having lost his place in attack to Kai Havertz.
However, with Havertz probably needing a rest, we believe the Belgian will be given another chance up front.
After all, the 28-year-old completely bullied Arsenal on what was his second debut for the Blues, scoring after 15 minutes and generally causing mayhem.
Chelsea predicted line up vs Arsenal: Mendy; Rudiger, Silva, Christensen; James, Kante, Loftus-Cheek, Alonso; Mount, Lukaku, Werner