Predicted XI

Pulisic to return - How Chelsea could line up against Barnley in the FA Cup

The Unites States international missed the weekend win over Sheffield Utd but is available to feature in the cup

11:45am on Wednesday 10th February 2021
Martin Macdonald

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel could welcome Christian Pulisic back into his starting XI for the FA Cup clash against Barnsley on Thursday.

Pulisic wasn't in the squad for Chelsea's 2-1 comeback win against Sheffield Utd in the Premier League on Sunday due to personal reasons, with Tuchel allowing him the weekend off.

He was back training with the team during the week, though, and is in line for his first start under Tuchel since the German replaced Frank Lampard as boss.

With the Premier League title out of reach for this season, Chelsea will likely take the FA Cup seriously, but that doesn't mean Tuchel will utilise his vast squad for this one, so expect changes.

Kepa Arrizabalaga started in the last round against Luton and will probably do so again, while Marcos Alonso could return at left-back.

Tuchel has utilised a back three since taking over, but could revert to a back four in a game that Chelsea are expected to win. This has also been impacted by the injury suffered by Thiago Silva.

Reece James and Andreas Christensen could retain their places from the weekend, with Kurt Zouma coming in for Antonio Rudiger.

In midfield, Billy Gilmour will be given a run out, potentially partnered by N'Golo Kante which keams Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic dropping to the bench.

Tammy Abraham didn't feature versus Sheffield Utd, but scored a hat-trick in the last round of the cup against Luton and could be given the opportunity to tally up the goals versus Barnsley, too.

Hakim Ziyech and Kai Havertz should be the duo to come in to complete the attacking midfield three alongside Pulisic.

Timo Werner suffered a dead leg on Sunday, and although he is fine now, expect him to be rested.

Chelsea predicted XI against Barnsley

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