Tuchel makes three changes, Blues debut and £150k-a-week player dropped: Chelsea predicted XI vs West Ham

Chelsea are currently in preparation for this weekend’s all-London affair against West Ham.

The Blues face rivals West Ham at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon in an important Premier League fixture, with both teams suffering underwhelming starts to the new season.

For certain, Chelsea fans will expect a reaction on the pitch following the midweek 2-1 defeat to Southampton.

Now that the summer transfer window is shut, Blues manager Thomas Tuchel knows the squad he’s working with.

Thankfully, it’s been confirmed Reece James is back from illness and available to play against the Hammers.

Tuchel shared the only absentees against West Ham are injured midfielder N’Golo Kante, as well as deadline-day signings Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Denis Zakaria.

The Chelsea Chronicle is predicting Tuchel will make three changes to his line-up against West Ham from the side that were beaten by Southampton:

Photo by Harriet Lander – Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

GK and defence

Despite some shaky individual moments, we predict Chelsea’s first-choice goalkeeper Edouard Mendy will keep his starting position in-between the sticks.

In defence, it may be a change of system where Tuchel reverts to a back three with wing-backs pushed further up the pitch.

Experienced defensive pair Thiago Silva and Kalidou Koulibaly both start again. However, club captain Cesar Azpilicueta makes way from the side to allow a Blues debut for summer signing Wesley Fofana.

We know 21-year-old centre-back Fofana is at least available to make his first Chelsea appearance, so perhaps it’ll come in a London derby on the right of the back three.

Midfield

It’s a midfield pivot of Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Jorginho that may start again, albeit the options in the centre of the park are increasing for the manager. For example, Conor Gallagher is back from suspension and Mateo Kovacic continues to get minutes into his legs since his return from injury.

Marc Cucurella may keep his position on the left flank again, but it’s going to be a close-knit thing competing with teammate Ben Chilwell this season.

The second change could see winger Hakim Ziyech replaced in the XI by James. Of course, the predicted switch of formation means James slots into his preferred right wing-back role.

Photo by Harriet Lander – Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Attack

Raheem Sterling, who has three goals in five games in Chelsea colours, surely starts again.

The prediction is that Mason Mount will fortunately retain a spot as part of a front three, but don’t be surprised to see him drop into a deeper number 10 pocket.

Finally, a change the fans desperately want is to see Armando Broja replace Kai Havertz in the starting line-up. The Chelsea Chronicle is predicting Tuchel will make that exact call, too.

£150,000-a-week attacker Havertz could be dropped due to his fairly ineffective start to the season, while hungry young striker Broja is waiting for his chance to shine from the start.

Predicted Chelsea line-up

Mendy
Fofana Silva Koulibaly
James Loftus-Cheek Jorginho Cucurella
Mount Broja Sterling

IN: Wesley Fofana, Reece James, Armando Broja
OUT: Cesar Azpilicueta, Hakim Ziyech, Kai Havertz

Keep up to date with all the latest Chelsea news and opinion by following The Chelsea Chronicle’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

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.