Five changes Thomas Tuchel could make to bounce back from Man City defeat against Juventus – Football.London

It was a tough weekend for Chelsea but already their attention can turn to the next challenge.

Thomas Tuchel and co must ready themselves for the visit of Juventus to Stamford Bridge as the second round of Champions League fixtures get underway this week.

The German coach will have been left pondering his team selection following the defeat to Manchester City, and will likely revert to the more familiar 3-4-3 that he has employed for much of his time in west London.

The substitutions Tuchel made certainly changed Chelsea’s verve as the game went on, and the Blues are unlikely to be pressed as intensely as they were against the Citizens. The successes the Blues did find could certainly influence the boss’ thinking.

Below we look at some of the changes Tuchel could be considering.

Reece James out, Callum Hudson-Odoi in

The Blues boss seems like he could be forced into leaving James out of his Wednesday night Champions League squad after the defender suffered an ankle injury in the first half of the Manchester City defeat.

The fullback left the ground with strapping around his ankle and it will be unlikely he is risked against the Serie A side.

Tuchel has a number of options to rotate through his defence, and could simply adjust by bringing Thiago Silva into the backline as he did on Saturday.

The former PSG defender would have seemed likely to start this game, after sitting on the bench when the referee’s first whistle went, but his introduction after 30 minutes may make that a more difficult decision.

Depending on the severity of James’ injury, Hudson-Odoi might have an extended opportunity in the first team if he can earn the role of the attacking wingback in Tuchel’s rotation.

Chelsea will be keen to set a statement against Juventus and Hudson-Odoi’s qualities going forward could be worth a shot.

Mason Mount in, N’Golo Kante out

Mount’s presence was sorely missed against the Premier League champions, and it seems obvious that he will quickly come back into the side. Tuchel noted if the game against Man City was Sunday, the 22-year-old may have been in contention for a place due to his quick recovery from injury, so it seems Mount should at least be challenging for the starting XI.

In the previous two games, Tuchel has alternated the pitch time of Mount and Kante so while it would be good to see both on the pitch, perhaps it is more likely to only see the qualities of one on Wednesday evening.

Kai Havertz in, Timo Werner out

While there was no particular fault in Werner’s performance at the weekend, his isolated display certainly reduces the clamour for him to start alongside Romelu Lukaku, but only for now.

The introduction of Kai Havertz against City didn’t change the game on it’s head but his positioning allowed Chelsea a smoother transition into attack and Werner could be a victim of Tuchel changing formation.

The Blues boss said that Havertz and Ziyech lacked some confidence and form but given the German’s Champions League pedigree he might feel more at home.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek in, Mateo Kovacic out

A player who might just be starting to convince Tuchel that he is worthy of a place in Chelsea’s starting XI is Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

Ahead of the season Tuchel said that Loftus-Cheek’s future was in his own hands and that he hoped to see greater intensity from the man who spent last season on loan at Fulham. The academy product wasted little time producing an impressive driving run through City’s midfield after his introduction, and highlighted a quality Chelsea had been without.



LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 25: Joao Cancelo of Manchester City tackles Ruben Loftus-Cheek of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on September 25, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
Ruben Loftus-Cheek was introduced against Man City

However, his 48-year-old coach’s tone was only slightly different following the midfielder’s cameo.

He said: “He decides what the plans are. He got minutes against Zenit, in the Cup, and now here [against Manchester City].

“He’s a different type of player. He’s not a passing player, he’s a dribbler, a runner who drives the ball. This could be very helpful against City.

“He did very well, it was nice to see.”

In two substitute appearances the former Crystal Palace loanee has made his impact felt, and now he just needs to convince his boss he can do it for 90 minutes.

If Tuchel opts to start him, Kovacic has probably had the most similar role and shown the ability to break through opposition lines. He’s played a lot of football in the various absences of the Blues’ midfielders so he could possibly be rotated.

Ben Chilwell in, Marcos Alonso out

Alonso has been Chelsea’s surprise package of the season so far and had showed some impressive form but his display against City showed why he may not be the long term favourite.

The Spaniard got caught out too far up the pitch at times while his attacking influence was lost when Chelsea spent most of their time defending.

By no means does Alonso immediately need to be dropped, but getting more minutes in Chilwell’s legs against top opposition might not be the worst idea, even with the England international struggling slightly on his return against Aston Villa.

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