After a resolute draw at Liverpool in their previous fixture, Chelsea will welcome Aston Villa to Stamford Bridge in their first match back after the international break.
The Blues dug in to earn a 1-1 draw at Anfield, that despite Reece James’ controversial red card on the stroke of half-time.
Having showcased their defensive organisation on Merseyside, manager Thomas Tuchel will hope his players can get back on the front foot against Villa, who have endured an inconsistent beginning to the season after a transfer window packed with activity.
Chelsea bolstered their impressive squad further on transfer deadline day with the signing of Saul Niguez from Atletico Madrid and it’ll be fascinating to see if he’s thrust straight into contention in front of what will be an expectant home crowd.
With a key new player, a suspension and some injury issues to contend with, there are some big decisions for Tuchel to make. Here is the key Chelsea team news for the game and a look at the best XI they could pick for this fixture.
James is suspended for the Villa game, while N’Golo Kante is doubtful because of the issue he sustained against Liverpool. Kai Havertz was also a doubt for Germany due to illness, but could well be back by the time club football returns.
Provided no further players pick up injuries on international duty, Tuchel should otherwise have a full complement to pick from.
The big decision Tuchel will have to make is whether to replace James at right wing-back with the defensive dependency of Cesar Azpilicueta or the attacking thrust of Callum Hudson-Odoi, who has been used in the position previously.
At home against Villa, the onus should be on Chelsea to attack, meaning the latter should get the nod and Azpilicueta can slot back into central defence.
Elsewhere, Tuchel has a number of options in attack, although you suspect he will go with the same combination of Mason Mount, Kai Havertz and Romelu Lukaku that has looked threatening against Arsenal and Liverpool so far.
Lineup (3-4-3): Mendy; Azpilicueta, Silva, Rudiger; Hudson-Odoi, Jorginho, Kovacic, Alonso; Havertz, Lukaku, Mount.
Source by Football London