Chelsea are scheduled to host West Bromwich Albion in today’s early Premier League kick-off from Stamford Bridge.
The Blues are on a stunning 15-match unbeaten run, and 14 of those have been played under Thomas Tuchel, who became the club’s manager in January.
In league terms, they are unbeaten for 10 games with six wins and four draws, conceding just twice – with one of them being an own goal.
They are overwhelming favourites to beat the Baggies but will need to guard against complacency against the Midlands outfit.
Tuchel’s side hold a slender two-point lead over West Ham United for the final Champions League and have the chance to extend the advantage.
Edouard Mendy missed the internationals for Senegal due to a dental operation, but he can face the Baggies. He will continue in goal ahead of Kepa Arrizabalaga. The 28-year-old has kept more clean sheets (20) than goals conceded this term (19).
The backline has received a big boost with the availability of Thiago Silva. The Brazilian had been out of action since early February with a hamstring injury. He made a comeback to the squad last month only to suffer a minor recurrence.
The 36-year-old is likely to start in the middle of a back three with Cesar Azpilicueta and Antonio Rudiger on either side of him. Andreas Christensen has hugely impressed in Silva’s absence, but he will have to adjust with a role on the bench.
Reece James has firmly established himself in the right wing-back position, and he should continue to get the nod over Callum Hudson-Odoi. On the opposite side, Marcos Alonso has looked better suited to the role over Ben Chilwell, and he is likely to feature.
In the centre of the park, it is quite clear that Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic are likely to feature with N’Golo Kante out on the sidelines. The Frenchman has returned to individual training after a hamstring injury on international duty, but he could be out for two games.
Further forward, Tuchel faces a selection headache. Mason Mount has firmly established himself as a regular starter, and he will be hoping to carry the good form after registering a goal and an assist in the World Cup qualifiers for England.
Hakim Ziyech has scored in back-to-back games for the Blues, and he may get the nod over Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic on the right wing. Meanwhile, Tuchel has already confirmed that Timo Werner will lead the line against the Baggies.
Werner has grabbed 10 goals and 10 assists in his debut season with the club, but he has been guilty of squandering several clear-cut chances. He recently missed a golden scoring opportunity for Germany as they suffered a shock 2-1 loss to North Macedonia at home.
Predicted Chelsea line-up (3-4-3): Mendy; Azpilicueta, Silva, Rudiger; James, Jorginho, Kovacic, Alonso; Ziyech, Werner, Mount.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com
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