Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel is expected to make a number of wholesale changes to his starting XI when his side face Chesterfield in the FA Cup on Saturday.
The Stamford Bridge side have had to endure a number of serious injuries in recent months and will now be without key players during the African Cup of Nations.
As such, Tuchel will likely offer debuts and rare appearances to some of Chelsea’s younger players without compromising his team’s ability to win the game with relative comfort.
In defence, we’re likely to see Kepa Arrizabalaga remain between the posts while Edouard Mendy is away on international duty, behind a back four of Saul Niguez, Malang Sarr, Andreas Christensen and youngster Xavier Simons at right back.
N’Golo Kante remains out of action with a COVID infection and Kai Havertz broke his finger in the midweek win over Tottenham Hotspur, so Tuchel is likely to go with a midfield duo of Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ross Barkley, with Hakim Ziyech in the No.10 position.
Similarly, we should expect to see Christian Pulisic return to the fold on the left wing, with Callum Hudson-Odoi on the right. Timo Werner, who has now recovered from a COVID infection, is set to lead the line as the club’s lone striker.