Chelsea travel to St Mary’s for Saturday’s Premier League encounter against Southampton.
Thomas Tuchel has made four changes from the side that were beaten 3-1 by Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League tie in midweek. However, Edouard Mendy keeps his place between the sticks despite his mistake which led to the third Madrid goal.
Andreas Christensen also keeps his place in the Chelsea defence along with Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger so Malang Sarr and Trevoh Chalobah have to settle for places on the bench this afternoon.
Marcos Alonso is recalled to start on the left flank so Cesar Azpilicueta makes way. Ruben Loftus-Cheek is given a chance to impress while Mateo Kovacic is recalled to line-up alongside N’Golo Kante in the middle of the park. Jorginho and Reece James drop to the Chelsea bench.
Mason Mount keeps his place in attack while Kai Havertz also retains his place after getting on the scoresheet against Madrid. Romelu Lukaku isn’t involved after being ruled out through injury.
Timo Werner is given a recall by Tuchel so Christian Pulisic drops out to join Hakim Ziyech and Ross Barkley among the subs.
As for Southampton, Che Adams starts in attack along with Stuart Armstrong. James Ward-Prowse will also be looking to impress for the hosts while Kyle Walker-Peters starts in defence once again.
Here are the confirmed line-ups:
Forster, Livramento, Bednarek, Salisu, Walker-Peters, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Armstrong, Elyounoussi, Armstrong, Adams
Subs: Stephens, Redmond, Caballero, Perraud, Smallbone, Tella, Diallo, Walcott, Valery
Chelsea XI to face Southampton: Mendy, Christensen, Silva, Rudiger, Alonso, Kovacic, Kante, Loftus-Cheek, Mount, Havertz, Werner
Bench: Kepa, James, Chalobah, Sarr, Barkley, Jorginho, Saul, Pulisic, Ziyech
Edouard Mendy keeps his place in goal despite a shaky performance against Real Madrid in midweek.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Timo Werner come into the starting line-up, with Jorginho dropping to the bench.
Lukaku and Azpilicueta do not make the squad, with Tuchel informing the press that this was out of his hands.
What was said?
Speaking on Lukaku’s absence, Tuchel stated: “He’s injured.”
The Blues boss continued to reveal that Azpilicueta has tested positive for Covid-19 and will miss the match.
“Azpilicueta unfortunately has a positive Covid test,” Tuchel continued.
Tuchel continued to discuss Chelsea’s form after they lost consecutive matches to Brentford and Real Madrid.
“It doesn’t feel good and we want it to stop,” he said. “We need to work hard for it, refocus and find our level of performance to deserve the results we want.
“It came as a shock as we had no signs of weakness before the national break, we were conceding very few chances, and now things are upside down.
“It’s a bit strange, there isn’t one reason for it, and we are on it to try and make things better. We want to get our compactness back today.”
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