Two Blues make first PL start of the season, £33m man dropped: Chelsea predicted XI vs Southampton
Chelsea will have ambitions of bouncing straight back from their successive defeats when they face Southampton tomorrow afternoon.
Thomas Tuchel has lost two games in a row for the first time as the Blues boss, having been flummoxed by Manchester City and Juventus.
A raucous, if slightly cautious, Stamford Bridge crowd awaits them on Saturday, eager to see the previous wrongs put right against Southampton.
Hardly any of Tuchel’s squad made a strong case for selection mid-week, so expect a flurry of changes for the upcoming tie.
Here’s how we think Chelsea will line up versus the Saints:
Tuchel transformed the Blues from porous to almost impenetrable when he took over from Frank Lampard.
However, cracks have begun to emerge at the back, with three goals conceded in the last three games.
But this is no time to panic. Those who have served the German so well deserve to reclaim their pride.
Expect Edouard Mendy, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger to remain in place following the Juve humbling.
The only possible change could be Trevoh Chalobah in for Thiago Silva.
Silva rarely completes consecutive 90 minutes anymore and Chalobah has proven to be a worthy depute.
Again, there is no great need to reshuffle the midfield completely.
Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho might not have had their finest performance in Turin, but they have enough credit in the bank to deserve another swing of the axe.
N’Golo Kante’s absence and the uncertainty of Saul Niguez help the pair’s cause somewhat.
Cesar Azpilicueta remains at right-wing back, but there is a first league start of the season for Ben Chilwell.
Chilwell replaced Marcos Alonso at half-time against Juventus and looked a far greater attacking threat than his Spanish teammate.
Another man who made an impact on Wednesday, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, could also earn his maiden top-flight appearance this year.
His display from the bench in Italy certainly captured the imagination of Chelsea supporters and most likely Tuchel as well.
On the flip side, Romelu Lukaku failed to impress anyone, mainly because he never had the ball to be impressive with.
But Southampton are the perfect opponents for the Belgian to rid his past traumas; he’s managed nine goals in 12 games against them.
Timo Werner was an unused substitute for the European tie, yet his pace might be crucial when attempting to tackle the Saints high press.
Werner comes in for the extremely underwhelming Hakim Ziyech, as the £33m (Sky Sports) Moroccan is currently in a bit of a rut.
Chelsea Predicted XI vs Southampton: Mendy; Rudiger, Chalobah, Christensen; Azpilicueta, Kovacic, Jorginho, Chilwell; Loftus-Cheek, Lukaku, Werner