Jorginho starts | Expected Chelsea line-up vs Brentford
Chelsea will be eyeing a sixth-straight Premier League win when they entertain Brentford at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. Here is our expected line-up
Chelsea will be eyeing a sixth-straight Premier League win when they entertain Brentford at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
The Blues have been in a tremendous run of form since the winter break. Their only lapse has come against Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final where they were beaten on penalties.
Hence, they should be favourites for the weekend’s London derby. Chelsea have met Brentford on two occasions this term, and have won in both instances with clean sheets.
Manager Thomas Tuchel should have almost a fully fit squad to work with. Ben Chilwell (knee surgery) and Callum Hudson-Odoi (Achilles injury) are the only players sidelined.
Here is how Chelsea could line up against Brentford:
Goalkeeper: Edouard Mendy has been an undisputed choice for the Premier League and Champions League games when fit and available. The Senegal international also started ahead of Kepa Arrizabalaga in the Carabao Cup final in February. He should be an assured starter tomorrow. Mendy will be eyeing his 12th clean sheet of the league campaign.
Defence: Andreas Christensen and Reece James have overcome their respective injuries to return to training, but Tuchel could handle the duo with caution. It won’t be a surprise if the pair start on the bench. In this case, Trevoh Chalobah appears likely to accompany the regular pairing of Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger at the heart of the defence.
Cesar Azpilicueta should start in the right wing-back position. Marcos Alonso should get the nod over Malang Sarr at left wing-back. Sarr has generally played in the left-back role when Tuchel has opted to go with a back four.
Jorginho returns in midfield
Midfield: In midfield, Tuchel has regularly switched between N’Golo Kante, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic for the two available positions in a 3-4-2-1 set-up. Judging by their performances before the international break, Kante and Jorginho appear likely to get the nod.
Jorginho has an assist in each of his last two appearances for Chelsea, but was rested for the FA Cup quarter-final against Middlesbrough. The £40.5 million star will be eager to get on to the field after suffering the shock of Italy missing out on yet another World Cup.
Kai Havertz to lead the line
Mason Mount had a disappointing Carabao Cup final, squandering two golden scoring chances. He has since made up with a goal and an assist against Norwich City while also contributing to Chelsea’s winner at Lille. The England star should be a guaranteed starter behind the main striker.
Alongside him, one of Christian Pulisic or Hakim Ziyech may feature. The former has been in fantastic form lately, scoring in both round of 16 Champions League ties against Lille. Ziyech may still start ahead of him. Tuchel has confirmed that Pulisic is ‘very tired’, having played three games for the United States over the international break.
Up front, Kai Havertz should get the nod over Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner. Lukaku found the back of the net against Middlesbrough, but Havertz should reclaim his spot as the Premier League regular. He has become a clutch player for Chelsea. The German has four goals and one assist in his last three league games. That includes a stunning 89th-minute winner against Newcastle United.
Expected Chelsea line-up (3-4-2-1) vs Brentford
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