Expected Chelsea line-up vs Brentford
Chelsea make the short trip across west London for Wednesday’s Carabao Cup quarter-final against Brentford.
The Blues have lost momentum with back-to-back Premier League draws, but they should still go into tomorrow’s game as favourites.
Manager Thomas Tuchel will have to deal with several stars missing due to Covid-19. Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner and Callum Hudson-Odoi are among those ruled out.
However, there has been a timely boost with Jorginho back in training. Andreas Christensen (back) and Trevoh Chalobah (knock) were also involved in yesterday’s session.
With a semi-final place up for grabs, Tuchel may not make wholesale changes to the starting XI. He does not have much room to rotate as well with the absence of multiple players.
Here is how Chelsea could line up against Brentford:
Kepa returns in goal
Goalkeeper: Kepa Arrizabalaga has played both games in the club’s Carabao Cup campaign, and he is likely to start ahead of Premier League regular Edouard Mendy. The 27-year-old has been impressive between the sticks this term. He recently made four key saves in the 3-3 draw against Zenit St Petersburg.
Defence: Tuchel is likely to be tempted to rest Thiago Silva. The 37-year-old has played every league game since the last international break. Cesar Azpilicueta could also make way from the line-up, having had trouble coping with Wolverhampton Wanderers’ attack. Christensen and Chalobah could be in line to partner Antonio Rudiger in the back three.
In the wing-back positions, there appears no possibility of rotation. Reece James looks set to continue in his preferred right wing-back position. Marcos Alonso should start on the opposite end with Ben Chilwell still injured. Saul Niguez is an option to replace him, but he was disappointing when he played in the role against Zenit earlier this month.
Midfield: N’Golo Kante played the entire 90 minutes against Wolves on his injury comeback. After the game, Tuchel confirmed that the medical team had advised only 45 minutes of game time for the midfielder. The German could drop the 30-year-old to the bench alongside Mateo Kovacic, who has just returned from a hamstring injury. We fancy Jorginho to partner Saul Niguez, who had a positive impact off the bench on Sunday.
Attack: Mason Mount and Hakim Ziyech have been the bright spots for the Blues since the last international break. Mount has six goal contributions over the past month while Ziyech has also chipped in with two goals and two assists. The duo are likely to start in the attacking midfield roles. Kai Havertz has been left out of recent games after a brief illness. He could be in line to lead the attack ahead of Christian Pulisic.
Expected Chelsea line-up (3-4-2-1) vs Brentford