Thomas Tuchel doesn’t often name unchanged line-ups since he arrived at Chelsea and with the trip to Liverpool looming large this weekend, that’s likely to be the case once again.
The German tactician, who famously didn’t realise how many changes he made as Chelsea were beaten by Arsenal in the Premier League last season (it was seven, by the way) likes to tinker with his side for a specific opponent.
The 3-4-2-1 formation remains intact week in, week out but those players featuring in that formation change more often than not.
Over the past eight months of his reign in west London, you certainly cannot argue that it has got results as the Blues secured a top four finish and scooped glory in the Champions League.
It also keeps his players on their toes, not only for those in the team to keep their places for the next game but it also provides knowledge for those who are on the bench/on the fringes they could be given a chance to state their case.
With a mouth-watering clash against former Premier League champions Liverpool on the horizon on Saturday night, Tuchel could be set to tinker with his lineup again.
At Anfield last season, the Blues effectively dared Jurgen Klopp’s side to try and break them down, something they didn’t manage to do as the home side registered just one shot on target all night and Chelsea won 1-0 courtesy of Mason Mount’s winner.
Chelsea brutally exposed Liverpool’s high-line throughout the game, with Timo Werner an effective menace throughout the game though he didn’t get on the scoresheet that night.
Werner has to be pushing for inclusion this weekend when the Blues return to Merseyside and attempt to lay down and early marker for their title credentials in 2021/22.
But Werner’s possible inclusion might not be the only change that Tuchel could be considering ahead of the game.
N’Golo Kante has yet to start in the top flight this season having picked up an injury in their warm-up ahead of the Super Cup final against Villarreal. The Blues midfielder still got through an hour in Belfast before he was taken off but was ruled out for the win over Crystal Palace and was back on the bench for the Arsenal victory last weekend.
Also Ben Chilwell has yet to feature this season for Chelsea as Marcos Alosno has kept the left wing-back spot his own. Having scored against Palace in the season opener, he rightly started once again at The Emirates and had another good outing in north London.
Chilwell’s defensive work may well be needed more than Alonso’s offensive prowess at Anfield this weekend and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see the England man recalled for his first start of the campaign.
Tuchel has plenty of strength in depth in his squad this season so if he does make changes then it doesn’t affect the finished product too much.
The German even said it himself after the win over Arsenal: “I’m absolutely happy with our squad and the alternatives we have,” Tuchel said.
“It’s not too big a squad so when we were missing Christian Pulisic against Arsenal, it meant that everybody else was straight in, with 18 outfielders plus the goalkeepers.
“It means we do not have the biggest squad but we have a very competitive squad in all positions and that is necessary because we play a lot of competitions this season.”
Source by Football London