Thomas Tuchel has picked a relatively strong starting line-up with a few surprises in the front three for the Manchester City clash on Saturday.
Andreas Christensen and Trevoh Chalobah’s absences, as well as Reece James’ which forces Cesar Azpilicueta to play as a right wing-back, means Tuchel has very little option but to field his remaining three defenders.
It is quite interesting that the German opted to stick with the three-man defence than playing a back-four system which has worked quite well for Chelsea recently.
Tuchel’s decisions on the attacking spots, however, would attract even more attention.
The manager decided to deploy Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic ahead of Chelsea’s Champions League final heroes; Kai Havertz and Mason Mount, as well as Timo Werner.
Chelsea XI to face Manchester City (3-4-3):
Rudiger – Thiago Silva – Sarr
Azpilicueta – Kante – Kovacic – Alonso
Ziyech – Lukaku – Pulisic
On paper, Pulisic and Romelu Lukaku’s pace, along with Ziyech’s long balls, could cause problems for Manchester City.
Ziyech is likely going to play a bit deeper than the other two, acting as a right-sided number 10 as a link between the two lines.
However, it is clear that some Chelsea fans on social media are not very happy about Tuchel’s bold decisions.
Pep Guardiola drops key defender vs Chelsea
Similarly, many Manchester City fans would find it surprising that Guardiola decided to pair John Stones and Aymeric Laporte in central defence while Ruben Dias is among the substitutes.
Manchester City will still have three quick players up front, though, and it will be a big test for Sarr in arguably the biggest game in his Chelsea career so far.