Thomas Tuchel had mixed news for the Blues fanbase in his pre-match Brentford press conference on Friday afternoon with four key players completely being ruled out- two of them in the central defence area.
One of those players who Tuchel spoke about in the presser was fellow German compatriot Antonio Rudiger who had a tough international break with Die Mannschaft after being ruled out of the North Macedonia 5-0 win with a back problem.
Another central defender will miss the short trip up the A4 to the Brentford Community Stadium and that is Thiago Silva.
The Brazilian veteran played the full 90 minutes as his side beat Uruguay 4-1 in a World Cup qualifier that didn’t finish until 3.30am UK time on Thursday morning.
Tuchel once again admitted he was not happy with the amount of games players are playing during the international breaks.
Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech were the other two key absentees that Tuchel spoke about in his press conference but the good news with the aforementioned duo is that it doesn’t seem like they will both be out for too much longer.
With all the update injury news, football.london takes a look at the best three ways in which the 48-year-old could set-up the European Champions in this west London derby.
A similar set-up to the Crystal Palace opening day win
With Lukaku fit enough to make this game and Pulisic out, you would expect the 28-year-old to spearhead an attack which features Timo Werner and Mason Mount either side of him.
Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic started against the Eagles but with N’Golo Kante not meeting up with France, he could be more suitable to play in the midfield.
Captain Cesar Azpilicueta started that London derby at right-wing back but with Reece James having a full week of training- one would assume that he would be a guaranteed starter on Saturday.
Considering the two key centre-halves that will be missing in this game that’s being shown on Sky Sports, the veteran Spaniard will likely fill in at centre-back alongside Andreas Christensen and Trevoh Chalobah.
XI: Mendy; Chalobah, Christensen, Azpilicueta; James, Jorginho, Kante, Chilwell; Mount, Werner, Lukaku.
Taking limited injury risks
With many of the Blues cohort either being injured before the international break and during the period itself, this could result in a slightly rotated side with the likes of Hudson-Odoi being given a chance at wing-back if James still isn’t a 100% fit.
The same goes for Kante who may not be up to match speed and sharpness as of today due to missing back-to-back games before the October internationals.
Mason Mount had been injured before the break but his active involvements for England imply that he would be up to full fitness for the Bees challenge.
XI: Mendy; Chalobah, Christensen, Azpilicueta; Hudson-Odoi, Jorginho, Kovacic; Mount, Werner; Lukaku.
Making use of the stars that stayed at Cobham
As Chelsea writer Scott Trotter wrote: “Tuchel has an extended period working with the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ross Barkley, Ziyech and more, albeit with a limited number, and often in matches against the Blues academy stars.
“The latter of the trio has been ruled as a doubt for Saturday meaning he will likely not be risked considering the seven games ahead of the European Champions in the short timeframe of 21 days.
“However, Loftus-Cheek was impressive against the Saints before the break, while Ziyech looked reborn after time working with the German coach during pre-season.
“Hudson-Odoi had no intention of joining with England’s youth ranks, in a bid to earn his way into the boss’ thinking, and could see himself in the side due to the injury concerns outlined above anyway.
“Saul Niguez would have really had to impress to work his way into the side, but it was after the September break that he was afforded his Premier League opportunity against Aston Villa”
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He was denied the chance to feature against Southampton as Tuchel openly admitted after the game.
“It’s completely my responsibility,” the German said. “I had the feeling he could jump in for us and play at that level. I then thought it was maybe better to change him, but it doesn’t change my opinion [about him as a player].”
The fact Jorginho only featured against Belgium off the bench might secure his place in the side, however, with Kovacic’s final international fixture being later in the week.
Edouard Mendy has been on Senegal duty during this October break whilst second choice Kepa Arrizabalaga stayed behind at Cobham and as we know already- the £71m signing has started a Premier League game this season against London rivals Tottenham, so don’t be surprised if he was included again.
XI: Kepa; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Chalobah; Hudson-Odoi, Loftus-Cheek, Jorginho, Chilwell; Mount, Werner, Lukaku.