New Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has made just one change to the Blues’ starting lineup that beat Burnley on the weekend ahead of tonight’s mammoth encounter against rivals Spurs.
The German has drafted in Reece James for Tammy Abraham – who was substituted against the Clarets at halftime.
James will likely feature in his natural right wing-back position in a move that should see Callum Hudson-Odoi move back up to winger – after Man of the Match performances at WB – whilst Timo Werner will now take the centre-forward role left vacant by Abraham and not feature out wide.
Tuchel’s decision to keep things almost exactly the same from a personnel perspective means that big-money summer signings Ben Chilwell and Hakim Ziyech start on the bench once more.
Christian Pulisic, arguably last season’s brightest spark, also starts on the sidelines once again alongside bonafide superstar N’Golo Kante.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) February 4, 2021
Here’s how some of the Chelsea faithful have reacted to Tuchel’s teamsheet:
• Timo Werner hate Tottenham Hotspur.
• Amazing line up by Thomas Tuchel.
• Flexible in his approach.
• Another master class income.
• 3point in the bag already.
• My manager.
— Dee Dan (@DeeDan_) February 4, 2021
This is one ballsy team. Playing players in merit though, good precedent setting.
— #8 (@MedianoEra) February 4, 2021
WHAT A TEAMMM
— Dubois (@CFCDUBois) February 4, 2021
The bench looks stronger than the starting 11?
— Omo Kiikan ? (@OmoKiikan) February 4, 2021
5 defenders…..this doesn’t looks good to me
Odoi should have kept his RWB and pulisic or ziyeck to partner Werner upfront
— shot caller??? (@charlestara28) February 4, 2021
Good call, but can those pacey lads upfront get goals for us?
— kelly (@kellsagbons) February 4, 2021
Lmao if lampard had started this team y’all woulda ate him up
— Chelsea’s BaBaLaWo? (@ChelseaTingsSW6) February 4, 2021
But I thought Mount was getting dropped once a new manager came in ?
— Eric (@baconlad75) February 4, 2021
An encounter against Spurs is pretty important anyway, but with former Blues boss Jose Mourinho now managing in north London, the spectacle is even bigger – with heightened focus on Tuchel.
This is the first real big game for the Blues under the man that was sacked by Paris Saint-Germain around Christmas, with all respect to Wolves and Burnley.
As I’ve touched on above, the personnel is essential the same, but Werner and Hudson-Odoi are being deployed in their more natural positions instead, it will be interesting to see how they fare.
Out-of-form Werner put the sword to Tottenham’s defence to knock them out of the Champions League last season, this is a fine opportunity for the star to make a statement after a shaky start at Chelsea.