Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel could field three new signings and one debutant against West Ham on Saturday afternoon. The Blues snapped up Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Denis Zakaria on deadline day and, although neither are ready to feature, there is still plenty for Blues supporters to sink their teeth into. Express Sport takes you through how they could line up…
Goalkeeper – Mendy
The Senegalese international’s performances have tailed off somewhat since his mighty 2020/21 season. Mendy was imperious as Chelsea powered all the way to Champions League glory and, at the time, some of his team-mates were calling for Ballon d’Or consideration.
Backed up by Kepa Arrizabalaga, there is still little doubt that Mendy is the No 1 at Chelsea but he’ll hope to turn the tide against the Hammers after conceding eight goals in his first five Premier League matches this term.
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Midfield – James, Gallagher, Jorginho, Cucurella
There is now an almighty scrap for the left wing-back position at Stamford Bridge with Marc Cucurella and Ben Chilwell the key contenders. The Spaniard could get the nod on Saturday, however, with Reece James replacing Cesar Azpilicueta on the opposite flank after recovering from a bout of illness.
Tuchel’s tough selection decision in the middle is made easier by N’Golo Kante’s injury absence, although spots for Conor Gallagher and Jorginho are far from guaranteed. The former is back from suspension after his red card against Leicester and the latter could be the calming presence Chelsea need in what is sure to be a tough midfield battle with Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek.
Zakaria, who completed his loan switch from Juventus late on deadline day, is not expected to feature.
Attack – Mount, Broja, Sterling
Against the odds, Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech have stayed at Stamford Bridge but Tuchel is unlikely to waiver from the wide attacking duo of Mason Mount and Raheem Sterling. The manager’s key decision lies through the middle with Kai Havertz failing to register a goal or an assist in his first five Premier League games.
Chelsea blocked Armando Broja’s move to West Ham this summer but they have not handed him a league start since. That could change on Saturday, however, with Tuchel likely to be thinking about rotation before Tuesday’s Champions League opener against Dinamo Zagreb.
Aubameyang, who, like Zakaria, completed his move on deadline day, is not in contention to play due to injury.