Chelsea predicted XI vs Norwich: Eight changes, 25-year-old makes fourth start of the season

Chelsea will probably rotate their team rather heavily against Norwich City thanks to a ferocious fixture schedule and mounting injury problems.

Daniel Farke’s yellow and green group visit the Blues in the Premier League tomorrow lunchtime.

Bottom versus top, with polar opposite intentions on the line.

To maintain their advantage over the chasing pack, Chelsea must record a victory on Saturday.

Photo by Chris Lee – Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

For Norwich, the possibility of moving from last place must be incentive enough to cause a huge upset.

And they will already be encouraged by the damages suffered by Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner mid-week.

Hence why Thomas Tuchel is more than likely to reshuffle his pack, to avoid inducing any more fresh wounds on key personnel.

Here is our predicted Chelsea XI for the contest with the Canaries:

Defence

Edouard Mendy will be eager to get as many club minutes under his belt before he sets off for the Africa Cup of Nations in January.

He remains in goal, with Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen also keeping their place from the Malmo win on Wednesday.

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Trevoh Chalobah does replace Thiago Silva, whose ageing legs always need looking after.

Midfield

With one eye on the Carabao Cup game versus Southampton next Tuesday, expect a completely re-jigged midfield to ensure freshness.

Reece James starts at right-wing back in place of Cesar Azpilicueta, who is given a rare but deserved rest.

Centrally, Mateo Kovacic and Ruben Loftus-Cheek partner up instead of N’Golo Kante and Jorginho.

Loftus-Cheek was perhaps unfairly dropped for the recent European tie, following another excellent domestic performance away to Brentford.

Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

The 25-year-old warrants a fourth start of the season against Norwich.

At left wing-back, Ben Chilwell makes way for Marcos Alonso, the Spaniard now finding his once secured position under fire.

Attack

Thanks to Lukaku and Werner’s absence, Tuchel will have to throw out a different front line.

Kai Havertz scored against Malmo whilst playing through the middle, so the German is surely going to feature there again.

Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Next to him, the almost forgotten figures of Hakim Ziyech and Callum Hudson-Odoi.

Chelsea predicted XI vs Norwich: Mendy; Chalobah, Christensen, Rudiger; James, Kovacic, Loftus-Cheek, Alonso; Ziyech, Havertz, Hudson-Odoi

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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.