How Chelsea could line-up vs Aston Villa as Thomas Tuchel considers four changes

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Chelsea went into the international break, high in confidence, togetherness, and respect, after their incredible performance against Liverpool. While their 100% record came to an end at Anfield and the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United, and West Ham crept ahead of them, their ability to secure a draw while a man down against Jurgen Klopp’s side was a major statement.

Thomas Tuchel’s side were sitting pretty, courtesy of Kai Havetz’s sensational header putting them in front.

But, the table was flipped after Reece James was sent off for handling the ball on the goal line.

Mohamed Salah dispatched the penalty with confidence, and with the momentum swinging towards the Reds just before half-time, Chelsea looked vulnerable.

But they reformed and restructured, plugging the vacated holes with the experience of Thiago Silva and the agility of Mateo Kovacic. 

Chelsea held on to secure what could be an enormous point come the end of the season.

However, Tuchel could shuffle his deck for Aston Villa’s visit to Stamford Bridge upon the end of the international break.

The first immediate change for Tuchel will be who deputises for the suspended Reece James, who will begin his three-match ban for the red card at Anfield against the Villans.

Callum Hudson-Odoi could be drafted into the team for his first start of the Premier League season. With Villa likely to sit back and try to catch the Blues on the counterattack, Tuchel could look for Hudson-Odoi’s overlapping runs and dribbling ability to flank and break down the defence. 

Andreas Christensen will likely keep his place in the heart of the back three, as Silva is one of the eight Premier League stars forced to quarantine after playing for Brazil.

Ben Chilwell could also be drafted into the left-wing-back position for the first time since the Champions League final.

Marcos Alonso’s scoring start to the season has confined the former Leicester City to the bench this season, but with the Spaniard being targeted by Liverpool at Anfield, Chilwell could be brought back into the side.

N’Golo Kante limped off against The Reds at half-time, and with the midfielder constantly being sidelines by injuries last season, Tuchel may not want to risk the Frenchman. Which could mean a Chelsea debut for Saul Niguez.

The former Atletico Madrid midfield general was a deadline-day signing for the Blues, arriving from the Wanda Metropolitano on loan.

He has had a long time to work with Tuchel, due to the fact he was not selected for Spain’s squad for their World Cup qualifiers against Sweden, Georgia, and Kosovo.

There is every chance the Spaniard could be drafted into the team for his first Chelsea start, where he would partner Jorginho in the midfield.

Ahead of the midfield pivot, would likely be Mason Mount, as per usual, but Tuchel could refresh his attacking line with the pace of Timo Werner.

The German forward enjoyed a stunning display in Germany’s 6-0 demolition of Armenia; getting himself on the scoreesheet and contributing a stunning backheel assist for Marco Reus.

He is the definition of a confidence player, so Tuchel could look to maintain his form by partnering him with Romelu Lukaku.

Chelsea (3-4-3) Mendy, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger, Hudson-Odoi, Jorginho, Saul, Chilwell, Havertz, Werner, Lukaku.

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