Chelsea are set to welcome Tottenham to Stamford Bridge on Sunday (4.30pm) as Thomas Tuchel’s side go in search of another three points following their opening day Premier League victory over Everton last weekend. The Blues beat the Toffees 1-0 courtesy of a Jorginho penalty nine minutes into stoppage time at the end of the first half.
Tuchel will have a dilemma on his hands for the visit of the Lilywhites as he decides whether to start Marc Cucurella. The Spaniard joined the Blues from Brighton ahead of their opening clash against Frank Lampard’s team but could only muster a place on the bench.
The revigorated Tottenham side, meanwhile, will pose Chelsea a huge threat following their 4-1 thrashing of Southampton last time out. And Express Sport takes a look at the starting XI Tuchel could roll with.
Edouard Mendy has been in fine form since moving to west London from Rennes two years ago and kept the 49th clean sheet of his Blues career last time out. The Senegal goalkeeper will line-up between the posts once again for this one as he looks to keep the likes of Harry Kane and Son Heung-min at bay.
If Cucurella is handed his first start in Chelsea colours, he could come in for Cesar Azpilicueta and play on the left side of a back three. The Blues’ ageing defence rarely looked comfortable against the Toffees and could be exposed against better sides.
Summer signing Kalidou Koulibaly made his Blues debut last time out and could prove to be a sagacious signing for his new employers if he can match the form he displayed at Napoli. The 31-year-old could play at the centre of defence against Spurs, with Thiago Silva to his right.
Tuchel is well-known for giving his wing-backs the licence to roam forward and could once again ask Reece James to carve out opportunities for the team’s attackers down the right. Ben Chilwell won his side’s penalty against Everton and could keep his place on the left flank if Cucurella is given a more defensive role. N’Golo Kante, who struggled with injuries last season, will be confident of lining-up in the centre of the pitch, alongside Jorginho.
Chelsea were far from convincing in front of goal last weekend as they failed to score from open play against their Merseyside hosts. But Tuchel could keep faith with the same front three that started that match. Summer signing Raheem Sterling will be expected to produce the goods throughout the campaign and could start in a central position for the visit of Antonio Conte’s men, while Mason Mount and Kai Havertz could provide the creativity either side of him.