Tuchel hands out two Chelsea debuts and 25-year-old is finally back - Blues predicted XI for Everton
There are just two days until Chelsea kick-off their Premier League campaign with a trip to Goodison Park to face Everton.
Former manager Frank Lampard got the better of Thomas Tuchel in this fixture last season, eventually proving the catalyst for the Toffees’ Premier League survival.
The Blues will be looking to get off to a similarly strong start as last season, where they looked the team to beat in the opening weeks of the campaign.
The transfer window has become busy for the Blues, with them looking to finalise moves for a number of targets before the window closes later this month.
With business still not over, here’s The Chelsea Chronicle’s starting XI for Saturday’s curtain raiser.
GK and Defence
Edouard Mendy will continue between the sticks this season, and with Kepa’s expected move away he is likely to be under even less stress as Chelsea’s number one this season.
The Blues will return to old faithful in terms of the back five, and Reece James will be looking to build on a sensational prior campaign with a start here.
Cesar Azpilicueta has been strongly linked with a move to Barcelona this season, although he remains at the club and will captain the side to begin the season.
Ever-reliable Thiago Silva will begin what could be his last season at the top in the middle of the back three, still being backed to perform by Tuchel.
Kalidou Koulibaly is the first to be handed his Chelsea debut, following his signing from Napoli. After an impressive pre-season, fans will be excited to see him in the Premier League.
Left-wing-back will see the long-awaited return for Ben Chilwell to the first team, with a serious injury ending his season back in November last year.
N’golo Kante will start the season in a midfield two for the Blues. Despite spending the majority of pre-season away from the first team, his importance to the midfield partnership will see him slot straight back in.
He will be partnered with Jorginho, whose ability on the ball will be essential if things go to plan and the club begin to dominate posession.
Mason Mount will begin on the right of the front three, although his tendencies to float around the attack will see him being an important figure anywhere on the pitch.
Kai Havertz will feature down the middle, with the knowledge that he will have to improve his goalscoring numbers to hold off competition for his position.
The second Chelsea debut will be handed to Raheem Sterling, who will be keen to show he is more than able to perform outside of the Manchester City side.