Predicted XI

Kovacic still out? - How Chelsea could line up against West Ham

Thomas Tuchel's side are aiming to get back to winning ways after a drab 0-0 draw against Brighton during the week

11:32am on Friday 23rd April 2021
Martin Macdonald

Chelsea will likely be without influential midfielder Mateo Kovacic for this weekend's Premier League clash against London rivals West Ham.

The Croatian is still suffering from a hamstring problem and will likely not be risked against the Hammers with Champions League fixtures against Real Madrid on the horizon.

During the week, Thomas Tuchel made a few alterations to his side for the visit of Brighton, which ended up finishing in a boring 0-0 stalemate at Stamford Bridge.

All the players on the pitch would undoubtedly have been impacted by the news of the Super League going on in the background, however, as Stamford Bridge was met with protesting fans.

Both Chelsea and Brighton were forced to take to the pitch without really knowing what was happening in the world of football around them, and you could tell, as it proved to be a drab affair.

Thiago Silva, Cesar Azpilicueta and Ben Chilwell were rested for that one so they can expect a recall to the starting XI against West Ham, with Kurt Zouma, Andreas Christensen and Marcos Alonso all dropping out.

With Kovacic still injured that should present an opportunity for N'Golo Kante to come into midfield to partner Jorginho.

That will mean Mason Mount potentially moving higher up the pitch, with Hakim Ziyech making way.

Christian Pulisic was fairly ineffective against Brighton despite an upturn in form, so we could see Timo Werner brought in to the left of the central striker Kai Havertz.

Kepa Arrizabalaga has started the last two games, but we could see Edouard Mendy brought back into the starting XI.

Chelsea predicted XI against West Ham

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