Tuchel makes two changes, 26-year-old dropped and Kovacic starts: Chelsea predicted XI vs Wolves
The Chelsea group have had a full week to prepare for this afternoon’s Premier League match at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers.
With no midweek fixture, Thomas Tuchel’s side have been solely focused on Saturday’s league contest against Wolves at Stamford Bridge.
It does look like the Blues may still need a couple of results in their final four league games to wrap up a top-four finish, though.
The Chelsea Chronicle has predicted the starting line-up that manager Tuchel will pick against Wolves. It includes two changes from the side that lost 1-0 away to Everton last weekend.
GK and defence
It’s a completely unchanged backline we are predicting today, which means goalkeeper Edouard Mendy remains in-between the sticks.
The same back three of Cesar Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger could be selected to play again.
There’s a quick turnaround before next Wednesday’s league trip to Leeds United, so that’s the kind of match where Tuchel may be tempted to shuffle his pack slightly. Trevoh Chalobah and Andreas Christensen are waiting patiently in the wings.
However, it could make sense to go with the most experienced defenders against Wolves.
Reece James and Marcos Alonso, who have been two of the stronger performers lately, start again in the wing-back roles.
It’s a different midfield combination in the centre of the park, though.
Tuchel confirmed yesterday N’Golo Kante remains sidelined through injury at the weekend. Also, Jorginho won’t be ready to play after an injury forced him off the pitch in the loss to Everton.
Therefore, Mateo Kovacic looks like the obvious candidate to replace Jorginho in the first of two changes. He lines up next to midfield partner Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
Finally, the team’s completed with an attacking trio that could have a job on their hands trying to get past the Wolves defence.
Mason Mount seems dead certain to start again in a creative role, which does often see him drift out to pockets of space on the right.
Kai Havertz continues in one of the two striker positions, too.
The second and final change could come with Romelu Lukaku stepping into the side, which would mean dropping 26-year-old forward Timo Werner.
Lukaku, who is reportedly considering a summer exit, is patiently waiting for what would be a rare start across the past couple of months. It may suit the striker playing against an opponent that are likely to sit deep, so Werner could drop to the bench to provide a substitute option.
Predicted line-up (3-4-1-2)
Azpilicueta Silva Rudiger
James Loftus-Cheek Kovacic Alonso
IN: Mateo Kovacic, Romelu Lukaku
OUT: Jorginho, Timo Werner