Thomas Tuchel hands attacker first start of the season: Chelsea predicted XI vs Southampton

The fixtures are starting to pick up now for Chelsea, as they make the short trip to Southampton just three days after their hard-fought victory against Leicester City.

The Blues played the majority of the game with 10 men, however have Raheem Sterling’s brace to thank for picking up a massive three points.

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The victory was the perfect response to the damning 3-0 defeat to Leeds United, with any concerns over their mental strength being wiped away by the gritty win.

With that being said, all attention turns to tonight, and here’s the Chelsea Chronicle’s predicted line-up for the trip to St. Mary’s.

GK and Defence

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Edouard Mendy did well to get over his nightmare at Elland Road with a string of fine saves helping Chelsea hold on to the three points at the weekend. He returns between the sticks.

Cesar Azpilicueta was an important introduction at half-time against Leicester, and that will be rewarded with his first start since the opening fixture of the season.

With Thiago Silva surely needing a rest soon, Kalidou Koulibaly will return to the starting XI in the central role of a back three, with his time on the pitch already confirmed by Thomas Tuchel.

With the former Napoli man’s shift to the middle, Marc Cucurella will make the move to be part of the back three, where he has been touted to play more during this season.

Midfield

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Reece James registered his first assist of the season with another devastating cross at the weekend, and will look to continue his attacking form from the wing-back role.

The midfield role is one that is tough to predict for tonight, with injuries and suspensions now limiting the options for Tuchel. However, Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s impressive start to the campaign will see him feature again in the centre.

Alongside him, Jorginho will continue in midfield as the Blues wait for the full return of Mateo Kovacic, who made his first appearance of the season off the bench on Saturday.

Ben Chilwell will be handed his second start of the season following Cucurella’s move to centre-back, and will be hoping to make a statement in the face of competition from the Spaniard.

Attack

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Mason Mount has had an underwhelming start to the season, although will still be handed the opportunity to feature against one of his favourite opponents.

Raheem Sterling will be relieved he’s opened his account for the Blues, and will look to build on his brace against the Saints.

Alongside the English pair, Christian Pulisic will be handed his first start of the season, with Kai Havertz yet to impress so far this campaign.

Jack is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has freelanced for The Athletic and The Sun. Jack has reported live from Premier League and Championship grounds, whilst also being published in the Non League Paper.