Chelsea will be in Premier League action on Saturday in their first game back after the international break at home to west London rivals Brentford.
The Blues who hold a five point lead over fourth placed Arsenal, are on a five game winning run in the Premier League. Before the international break, they made it to the FA Cup semi-finals by beating Middlesbrough 2-0 at the Riverside Stadium.
With fixtures set to come thick and fast in April, Thomas Tuchel would want his team to start a crucial month with a win over Brentford.
Chelsea Team News
Chelsea have received a double injury boost over the international break with Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi back in training.
James was forced to withdraw from the England squad for the friendly internationals against Switzerland and Ivory Coast following a minor hamstring problem, while Hudson-Odoi missed the Blues’ last five games with an Achilles problem.
Saul Niguez and Kepa Arrizabalaga had tested positive for Covid-19 before the international break but the Spanish duo is expected to recover in time to face Brentford.
Predicted Chelsea Lineup vs Brentford (3-4-2-1)
Edouard Mendy helped Senegal qualify for the 2022 World Cup against Egypt on Tuesday evening, which will give him a lot of confidence ahead of a busy run of fixtures. He is a certainty to be in the Chelsea lineup against Brentford.
A back three of Cesar Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger are expected to start in front of Edouard Mendy. The trio will need to be focused for the entire game to stop their west London rivals from scoring at Stamford Bridge.
As for the midfield, Thomas Tuchel should retain faith in N’Golo Kante who could hold the fort in the no.6 slot with Mateo Kovacic offering energy and creativity from the no.8 role in the Chelsea lineup.
Reece James should walk into the starting XI after returning to first-team training over the week, occupying the right wing-back slot. Marcos Alonso remains the favourite to start at left-wing back against Brentford.
Tuchel has no shortage of attacking options at his disposal. Mason Mount could get a free role in the Chelsea lineup, and due to his ability to exploit half-spaces and cut open rigid defences with incisive passing, he could cause problems for the Brentford backline. Hakim Ziyech has performed really well in the last few games and deserves to start at the weekend.
With Kai Havertz returning late after featuring in Germany’s 1-1 friendly draw with the Netherlands, Tuchel could go with Romelu Lukaku up top against Thomas Frank’s side. With his pace and physicality, Romelu Lukaku could prove a real handful for the Brentford defenders.