THOMAS TUCHEL will have some big calls to make as his side travel to Spain to face Atletico Madrid on Tuesday night.
The Blues boss is undefeated in his short tenure to date, but will surely face his sternest test yet against Diego Simeone’s LaLiga leaders.
How Chelsea could line up on Tuesday night
Thomas Tuchel makes a point to Callum Hudson-OdoiCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Callum Hudson-Odoi has so far featured in every game of Tuchel‘s reign.
But the 20-year-old could be out of the starting XI again after being embarrassed by his manager at the weekend.
Tuchel, 47, opted to humiliate the youngster, by hauling him off just 30 minutes after coming on against Southampton.
After the game, the German told BT Sport: “We brought on Hudson but I was not happy with the attitude, energy and counter-pressing so we took him off because I demand a lot.”
Reece James could again be preferred to Hudson-Odoi in the right wing-back slot – although Tuchel may opt to give the latter a quick chance to redeem himself.
Edouard Mendy returned in place of Kepa Arrizabalaga in the 1-1 draw against the Saints and is likely to keep his place for this match.
Captain Cesar Azpilicueta will lead the side out, although Chelsea are sweating on the fitness of fellow veteran Thiago Silva.
The Brazilian, 36, has been nursing a muscle injury since the 1-0 win over Tottenham.
Tuchel could opt to deploy two up front
Silva, 36, was last seen hobbling off at TottenhamCredit: PA:Press Association
He returned to training last week, but wasn’t ready to face Southampton.
Should this match come too soon for him, Kurt Zouma can marshal the defence in his place, with Antonio Rudiger looking an early Tuchel favourite on the left side of the back three.
The aforementioned James and Hudson-Odoi will vie for the right wing-back slot, while Ben Chilwell may feel it’s about time that he regained his place on the left from Marcos Alonso.
Mateo Kovacic has impressed in the midfield and will start, with N’Golo Kante having pipped Jorginho as his partner at St Mary’s.
A bit of bruising but I’ll be fine. Nothing can stop me
Mason Mount worried fans when he was seen icing his knee.
But he assured fans on the club’s website: “It’s just a little knock. A bit of bruising but I’ll be fine. Nothing can stop me.”
Tuchel is giving Timo Werner every chance to regain some form and will likely give his compatriot another run out, although Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic are 50-50 to return from respective knocks.
Tammy Abraham or Olivier Giroud could join Werner up front, with Hakim Ziyech not yet having won over his new boss.
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