Chelsea will be looking to stretch their lead at the top of the Premier League table this evening with a win over Brentford.
Although the Blues have a short trip to the Brentford Community Stadium, they’re likely to be in for a tough afternoon as Thomas Frank’s side have shown real resilience since their promotion to the top division.
Antonio Rudiger, who has been the subject of plenty of speculation so far this season as his impressive performances continue to be marred by an ongoing contract negotiation, injured his back whilst on international duty, causing him to miss Germany’s second qualifier with North Macedonia.
He’s unavailable again, posing a dilemma for Chelsea who are already short in central defence.
To make matters worse, whilst Thiago Silva is not injured, there is a good chance he will miss today’s clash, given that he didn’t return to the UK until this morning.
“Thiago will be back in the afternoon, hopefully safe from his match in Brazil,” Tuchel said on Friday.
“We had our talk today about Brentford, had our tactical training today, and he missed all that.”
Meanwhile, from an attacking perspective, Chelsea will be without Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech, but are boosted by the news that Romelu Lukaku is available despite being forced to leave the Belgium squad early with what Roberto Martinez described as ‘muscle fatigue.’
Nevertheless, the Blues should still have enough in their squad to get the job done.
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Although Tuchel’s side lost to Manchester City in late September, they’ve been in good form for much of the season, and they returned to winning ways before the international break with an important 3-1 victory over Southampton at Stamford Bridge.
Timo Werner and Ben Chilwell got on the scoresheet in that fixture, and judging by the results of football.london’s recent ‘Pick the team’ widget, Chelsea fans want to see the pair in action once more.
Fans understandably want Tuchel to deploy Werner up front alongside talisman Lukaku, but rather surprisingly, they’ve got slightly different plans for Chilwell.
In Rudiger and Silva’s (likely) absence, the results of the widget confirm that fans want to see Chilwell used on the left-side of a back three, partnering alongside Andreas Christensen in the middle and captain Cesar Azpilicueta on the right.
That means Marcos Alonso – who didn’t feature against Southampton – returns to the starting line-up to reclaim his place in the left-wing back role.
Whilst that combination seems fairly unlikely, it’s certainly an option for Tuchel to consider.
With that all in mind, here’s the team Chelsea fans want to see their boss field today.
The line-up Chelsea fans want to see (3-5-2): Edouard Mendy; Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen, Ben Chilwell; Reece James, Jorginho, N’Golo Kante, Mason Mount, Marcos Alonso; Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner.