Chelsea are getting set to face Aston Villa in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon and as always, Thomas Tuchel has some massive decisions to make.
Perhaps this time around though the decisions are even bigger factoring in extra fatigue from those players that played three matches during the latest international break in the last couple of weeks, which has been far from ideal.
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The players returned to Cobham yesterday for their first training session back as a full group, and there will be one more session today.
Romelu Lukaku trained and completed a full session, and I believe he will be fine to start due to not playing Belgium’s last match through suspension.
Thiago Silva is not allowed to be selected due to the fallout of Chelsea not allowing him to go on international duty due to Covid restrictions.
Cesar Azpilicueta is probably OK to start as he only started on the bench for Spain in their last match.
Reece James is suspended for the match tomorrow.
But there will be decisions regarding Mason Mount, Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, Antonio Rudiger, Mateo Kovacic, Jorginho, and Andreas Christensen, who all played all three matches for their countries these last two weeks.
I believe Trevoh Chalobah will be the one who gets the nod to come in for Reece James, pushing Azpilicueta out to wing back.
I believe Hakim Ziyech could get the nod in one of the attacking three positions, and there is even a shout for Callum Hudson-Odoi in the other attacking position with Mount, Havertz, and Werner all likely fatigued, and Christian Pulisic possibly injured again.
N’Golo Kante will probably start in midfield as long as he is deemed fit enough, and it is looking like either Kovacic or Jorginho must also start there. Having said that, I do have a wildcard feeling that Saul Niguez starts the match in one of the double pivots taking all the above into account.
Then even though Rudiger and Christensen might also be a little fatigued, we have little choice but to start them both at the back alongside Chalobah.
Those are my speculations anyway, it will be a tough starting line up to make and some wise decisions needed.