Craig Burley believes Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel will name mostly the same eleven he used in the first-leg draw with Real Madrid for the return leg, except for one potential change.
Tuchel managed to rest several key players in the comfortable 2-0 win over Fulham on Saturday, including midfield duo Jorginho and N’Golo Kante.
The focus is now on the Champions League semi-final second-leg match against Real Madrid.
Chelsea have a slight advantage with their away goal after the 1-1 draw last Tuesday and the fact that they are going to play at Stamford Bridge.
But Tuchel is still expected to go all out on Wednesday despite having another big game against Manchester City at the weekend.
Interestingly, the Chelsea manager told Chelsea TV that he prefers having the team selection ‘headache’ and will to pick his team late, “on Tuesday or maybe even Wednesday morning”.
However, Burley does not think Tuchel will make any changes from the first leg, except for Kai Havertz’s potentially keeping his spot ahead of Timo Werner.
“When the team sheet comes out in midweek, I really [the central forward role] is the only question mark in terms of what Thomas Tuchel will do,” the former Chelsea midfielder told ESPN FC.
“[Christian] Pulisic is going to come back in, [Mason] Mount is going to go back further forward.
“The midfield is going to go back to the way it was [Jorginho and Kante], and the wing-back, [Cesar] Azpilicueta, I’d expect [him] to come back in.
“So yeah, [the No.9 position] is going to be an interesting one because that could be the area that potentially cost them if they don’t take the chances.”
Given the overall good performance in the first leg, it will not be a surprise if Tuchel comes up with the same starting line-up.
But as Burley pointed out, Chelsea failed to really capitalise on the chances they had in Madrid.
Havertz, who showcased his incredible composure and finishing against Fulham, might help in that aspect.
On the other hand, Werner’s movements and pace were arguably the reason why Chelsea had so many chances in that first leg in the first place.
It will be a tough decision to make, but fortunately, Tuchel will be the one who will pick the team — and as he said, he does not mind the headache.