Ben Chilwell recalled, Timo Werner keeps his spot – The Chelsea XI Tuchel should pick v Juventus

Chelsea face Juventus in their second Champions League Group H match in Turin on Wednesday night and Thomas Tuchel has some selection decisions to make.

Chelsea are back in action in the Champions League as they taken on Juventus in Turin and look to maintain their winning start in Europe.

The blues 1-0 win over Zenit got them off to a good start, but they take on their biggest rivals in Group H, after falling to their first defeat of the season against Manchester City

Questions were asked over Thomas Tuchel’s approach against the Premier League champions as he changed tactics, and the Citizens capitalised with an accomplished performance.

Tuchel has done very little wrong during his tenure at Stamford Bridge and is sure not to be perturbed, but he will be disappointed with the news that Mason Mount, Reece james, Christian Pulisic and N’golo Kante have all been forced out of his plans.

Mount has not recovered from the issue he picked up against Aston Villa, while Reece James is expected to be out for atleast another one week with his ankle injury and Kante has tested positive for Covid-19.

With all that in mind, Chelsea reporters look at how they would navigate Tuchel’s issues and select their XIs to face Juventus…

Thomas Tuchel will be ruing N’Golo Kante’s positive Covid-19 test which has ruled him out of Chelsea’s trip to Juventus on Wednesday in the Champions League.

Kante’s absence has extended what is a growing list of absentees as the French midfielder has joined Mason Mount, Reece James and Christian Pulisic in missing out against the Italian giants.

It’s a big blow for Tuchel and clearly lessens his options in midfield but the head coach still has Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic available so it is almost certain those two will start with Kante not involved.

Tuchel should stick with his back five, but will be without James and so Cesar Azpilicueta is likely to move back to wing-back. Thiago Silva returns to the starting line-up to replace the injured James, with Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger keeping their places.

There is a change at left-back in this side, with Ben Chilwell coming in for only his second start of the season and replaces Marcos Alonso.

The Spaniard has been performing well to start the campaign but extra defensive solidity is needed not just this week but from here on so Chilwell should get his place back.

With Mount still out, there is another decision to be made. The front two of Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner didn’t work at all against Man City so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a change made there and reverting back to a front three.

Hakim Ziyech could be in line for a recall after Werner’s below-par outing on Saturday in the Man City loss.

Romelu Lukaku is nailed on to start and Kai Havertz is likely to come in as well.

Sam’s XI: Mendy; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Thiago Silva, Rudiger, Chilwell; Jorginho, Kovacic; Havertz, Ziyech, Lukaku.

Scott Trotter

What a task Thomas Tuchel has for Wednesday evening.

The German coach has to help his team bounce back from their first defeat of the season while four quality players are unavailable.

It’s not the preparation you hope for when competing against Juventus.

Much will ride on whether the Blues boss sticks with 3-5-2 or reverts to 3-4-3, while he certainly has a quandary at wing-back too.

Reece James’ injury leaves Cesar Azpilicueta in a shootout with Callum Hudson-Odoi.

The latter’s attacking ability will be utilised at some point in James’ absence but it’s maybe best to utilise the 20-year-old against Southampton and to play Azpilicueta here.

Thiago Silva seems likely to come into the backline to play alongside Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger, while Marcos Alonso may just beat out Ben Chilwell given his form this season.

The Spaniard got caught out at times against Man City, but with Azpilicueta on the opposite flank, perhaps can provide an outlet against the Italians.

Against weaker opposition, I’d have loved to see Ruben Loftus-Cheek afforded an opportunity but Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho are the obvious oppositions given the task in front of the Blues.

That doesn’t stop an attacking front three, and Kai Havertz can provide plenty of link up between the lines while Timo Werner can test the ageing legs of the older members of the Old Lady’s defence with his pace, and help occupy the two centre-halves Juventus opt for with Romelu Lukaku.

Scott’s XI: Mendy; Christensen, Silva, Rudiger; Azpilicueta, Kovacic, Jorginho, Alonso; Havertz, Lukaku, Werner.

Daniel Childs

Chelsea will be looking for a quick response to the disappointing defeat to Manchester City on Saturday. What was most disappointing was the lack of attacking intent or coherency.

The lowest xG of the Thomas Tuchel era put the exclamation mark on a performance that lacked the energy Chelsea had so brilliantly injected into recent performances, and with the attacking talent available to Tuchel, this Chelsea have no reason to be boring.

Tactically someone needs to help out Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner if that’s the attacking two Tuchel is going to persist with.

With Mason Mount, N’Golo Kante and Reece James all out, the Blues need to find energy from somewhere which is laying down the gauntlet for potential fringe players to claim more minutes.

I would love to see Ruben Loftus-Cheek be given a start after his impressive performance in the League Cup against Aston Villa and cameo against Man City, but I think it is more likely Kai Havertz returns to the line-up on Wednesday night.

Coming up against a talent like Federico Chiesa from the right of Juve’s attack I want to see Ben Chilwell back to combat Chiesa’s speed and trickery.

Thiago Silva has been phenomenal so the back-three that finished on Saturday should start here.

This is the most difficult game of the group for Chelsea, a win of any kind would put them in an incredible position going into the two games against Malmo which look favourable and would put the Blues on course for the knockout stages without much fuss.

Daniel’s XI: Mendy; Christensen, Thiago, Rudiger; Azpilicueta, Jorginho, Kovacic, Chilwell; Havertz, Lukaku, Werner.

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