Chelsea team news: Expected XI as Thomas Tuchel deals with injury crisis

Tuchel's damning assessment of Chelsea's draw at Zenit

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Chelsea host Leeds United in the Premier League on Saturday (3pm) and will be looking to get back to winning ways after losing to West Ham last weekend. The Blues were top of the table ahead of their clash with the Hammers but fell to third following a 3-2 reverse.

Thomas Tuchel’s men have suffered a dip in form in recent weeks and were held to a 3-3 draw by Zenit St Petersburg in the Champions League on Wednesday night as they had to settle for second place in Group H.

The west Londoners have now won just one of their last four games in all competitions.

Tuchel will want to see his team return to form against the Whites and Express Sport takes a look at how Chelsea might line-up at Stamford Bridge.

Goalkeeper – Mendy

Edouard Mendy was rested for the midweek trip to Russia – and the team conceded three goals in his absence.

That illustrates just how important the Senegal international is for Chelsea, and he will return between the sticks when Leeds come to town.

 

Defence – Christensen, Rudiger, Silva

With Chelsea having already qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League before their final group game with Zenit, Tuchel took the opportunity to rest a string of his key players in eastern Europe.

Antonio Rudiger and Thiago Silva both sat out of the encounter. The duo have been in scintillating form for the Blues this season and are likely to return to the fold as Chelsea look for their 11th league win of the season.

Andreas Christensen played the full 90 minutes against the Russian champions and could be handed another start against Marcelo Bielsa’s team.

Midfield – James, Barkley, Jorginho, Alonso

Reece James was a shock inclusion in centre midfield on Wednesday night after Ruben Loftus-Cheek pulled up in the warm-up.

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But the England international will revert back to his usual right-wing-back role for the visit of Leeds.

Marcos Alonso came on as a late sub earlier this week but should line-up on the opposite flank to James in the absence of Ben Chilwell.

Chelsea have been hit with an injury crisis in midfield and long-term absentees N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic are still not fit.

Loftus-Cheek could miss out again if his injury from the week hasn’t healed, with Ross Barkley potentially set to benefit with a rare start.

Jorginho has been declared fit by Tuchel after missing the draw against Zenit with back pain.

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Forwards – Mount, Lukaku, Havertz

Mason Mount has been in excellent form recently and has netted in his last two Premier League games, as well as providing assists in those games.

He could line up in the Chelsea attack alongside Kai Havertz, who appeared for the opening 45 minutes against West Ham last weekend.

Meanwhile, Romelu Lukaku could be handed his first Premier League start in almost two months and lead the frontline after returning from injury.

Lukaku started in midweek for the first time since overcoming an ankle problem and found the back of the net to register his first goal since September.

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