Chelsea predicted XI vs Tottenham: New central midfield combination, £24m man returns

Chelsea have one final test before their competitive campaign begins in the form of Tottenham Hotspur tomorrow evening.

Stamford Bridge will be the stage for the Blues’ second fixture in the Mind Series before they jet off to face Villarreal in the Super Cup final.

Arsenal already faced the sword of Thomas Tuchel’s men, having tasted defeat at the Emirates last weekend.

Photo by Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images

Goals from Kai Havertz and Tammy Abraham ensured Chelsea’s victory in North London.

RONALDO NEEDS TO STOP WHINING.

Spurs will now take the short trip across town to test their capital city neighbour’s metal.

Tuchel can tinker and change his line-up three times over if he pleases, such is the strength in depth at his disposal.

However, with the domestic season just 11 days away, the Blues boss needs to start moulding his finalised squad and getting a refined system purring.

On that basis, expect quite a strong side to take the field against Tottenham.

Defence

Why fix what isn’t broken?

Away at Arsenal, Tuchel began with a back-line consisting of Edouard Mendy between the sticks.

Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Infront of the ‘keeper was Antonio Rudiger, Trevoh Chalobah and Kurt Zouma.

Chalobah in particular impressed the Chelsea fans on social media and warrants another runout from the first whistle.

This quartet was reshuffled at half-time versus the Gunners; just 25 minutes later, the Blues conceded.

Midfield  

Whilst the defence is unchanged, expect Tuchel to completely alter his midfield.

Marcos Alonso wasn’t unavailable for the previous match, which meant Christian Pulisic played an unorthodox wing-back role.

Anticipate the £24m (Sky Sports) Spaniard to come back in on the left, with returning loanee David Zappacosta down the right.

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

In between the pair is a familiar combination of N’Golo Kante and Danny Drinkwater, who replace Mateo Kovacic and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

Kante and Drinkwater were partners in crime during Leicester City’s title-winning campaign before they both joined Chelsea in 2016 and 2017 respectively.

Although, the last time they played together competitively was three years ago.

Attack  

With Alonso reclaiming his customary wing-back slot, Pulisic may be pushed into an offensive position to accompany his two German teammates.

Havertz scored the opener at Arsenal, assisted by a fine pass from Timo Werner.

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

Werner did come under criticism from Tuchel for not being clinical enough in front of goal.

He will need a strong performance to shake off the threat of a new striker potentially arriving this summer.

Chelsea predicted XI vs Tottenham: Mendy; Rudiger, Chalobah, Zouma; Alonso, Kante, Drinkwater, Zappacosta; Havertz, Werner, Pulisic   

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.