Predicted XI

Havertz to return – How Chelsea could line up against Rennes

The German has missed three matches for the Blues but looks set to return to the side when they return to Champions League duty this midweek

10:25am on Monday 23rd November 2020
Nicholas Hughes

Chelsea will be hoping to once again call upon Kai Havertz for their Champions League trip to Rennes on Tuesday night.

The new summer signing has missed Chelsea’s last three games after a positive COVID-19 test at the beginning of the month and was forced to miss the international break with Germany.

Manager Frank Lampard is confident the 21-year-old will be fit to return and play some part in the contest, one that could confirm the side’s place in the knockout stages of the tournament.

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Elsewhere, the Blues should be able to recall Thiago Silva to the starting XI after he missed the 2-0 win at Newcastle due to the short turnaround from the international break.

Chelsea played at 12.30 on Saturday afternoon with the defender playing just days earlier for Brazil in a win over Uruguay.

Christian Pulisic has struggled to reach full fitness this season having returned from a hamstring injury only to be sidelined again with a similar issue emerged in the warm-up of Chelsea’s clash with Burnley earlier this month.

Lampard told the media before the Newcastle game they would be “cautious” with the American star, though he had made steps in his recovery by elevating his involvement in training throughout the week.

This clash will likely come too early for Pulisic, though, who may look ahead to a big London derby against Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend as the game to feature in.

Lampard has thus far been reluctant to ring major changes throughout the Champions League campaign and will likely go with a similar line-up again, with the backline particularly dependable in conceding just one goal in their last seven games in all competitions.

Tammy Abraham has scored three goals in as many games and could lead the line again, while Callum Hudson-Odoi will hope for a start if his manager does opt to rotate.

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