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Kante returns, Mount decision made – Predicted Chelsea team to face Burnley



Kante returns, Mount decision made – reporters pick their Chelsea team to face Burnley

The Blues will welcome Sean Dyche’s side to Stamford Bridge on Sunday looking to claim their first win under Thomas Tuchel

Thomas Tuchel was given a free pass for his first game in charge of Chelsea. And quite right too given the German had only been in charge for the best part of 24 hours.

One training session was never going to be enough for the 47-year-old to imbue his tactical intricacies within the squad.

That the Blues drew 0-0 with Wolverhampton Wanderers was hardly a surprise.

It will be different this weekend when Burnley visit Stamford Bridge. Tuchel’s Chelsea will not be fully formed, but there should be a greater understanding among the players of his tactical guidelines and the nuances within them.

Another match that ends without all three points will not be as easily digested by supporters. The Blues have to start winning matches, and fast, if they’re to make up ground on the sides above them in the Premier League table.

Chelsea currently sit eighth in the top flight and the gap to the Champions League positions has widened to seven points after Liverpool’s win at Tottenham Hotspur.

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Overcoming the Clarets, who currently sit 15th in the table, is a must. And here’s Chelsea writers, Adam Newson and Sam Inkersole, outline the line-ups they would pick to take on Sean Dyche’s side.

Adam Newson

By his own admission, the team that Tuchel picked to face Wolves in midweek was “unfair” and that is likely to again be the case when Burnley visit Stamford Bridge.

The German still hasn’t had a great deal of time to work with the Chelsea players on the training pitches at Cobham, but then that the reality of this season for all coaches given the packed fixture schedule.

I do expect changes to be made to the Chelsea side against Burnley even if the 3-4-3 shape remains. Not in goal, of course, where Edouard Mendy remains the Blues’ number one.

In defence, I feel Kurt Zouma may be brought in alongside Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger to help deal with the aerial threat of both Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes.

It wouldn’t surprise me if, for the same reason, Reece James slots in at right wing-back in place of Callum Hudson-Odoi.

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The 20-year-old applied himself excellently in the unfamiliar role against Wolves but would be powerless to stop Wood or Barnes if a cross was delivered to the back post for either to attack. On the opposite flank, Ben Chilwell should retain his spot.

N’Golo Kante, fit again having recovered from a hamstring injury, should come into the midfield alongside Jorginho. I suspect Mateo Kovacic will drop to the bench.

Having impressed in a cameo against Wolves, I think Mason Mount deserves a chance from the start in place of Kai Havertz. Hakim Ziyech is a starter when fit.

In attack, I believe Timo Werner, who sat out the midweek draw, shall be deployed having had a few sessions to adjust to Tuchel’s methods.

Adam’s team (3-4-3): Mendy; Zouma, Silva, Rudiger; James, Jorginho, Kante, Chilwell; Ziyech, Werner, Mount

Sam Inkersole

As impossible as it was to predict Thomas Tuchel’s first starting eleven for Chelsea’s game against Wolves, it is pretty hard to have a go at what he will do for Burnley as well.

Tuchel admitted his last selection was unfair so there could be a few different faces in his second starting eleven as the Clarets visit Stamford Bridge on Sunday lunchtime.

The return of N’Golo Kante to training, coupled with Tuchel completely waxing lyrical about the French midfielder, would indicate that if he is available to start then he will do. If that is the case then Jorginho will probably make way.

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The defence probably won’t see much change to it so Callum Hudson-Odoi will start as the marauding right wing-back after his man of the match performance in midweek, with Ben Chilwell again on the opposite flank.

The back three should remain the same as well too as Tuchel is likely to still opt for experience back there, which he has in abundance with Thiago Silva, Cesar Azpiliceuta and Antonio Ruidger.

Mason Mount should come into the midfield, perhaps at the expense of Mateo Kovacic as Tuchel completely shuffles his midfield duo.

Upfront, Hakim Ziyech is likely to get the nod once again on the left with Kai Havertz once again getting the chance to impress on the opposite side, albeit a bit narrower than Ziyech will play

Through the middle, Olivier Giroud started against Wolves and considering Burnley’s defensive strength and height, I expect him to start once again which leaves Timo Werner and Tammy Abraham on the bench.

Of course and not forgetting, Edouard Mendy will start in goal as usual.

Sam’s team (5-3-2): Mendy; Hudson-Odoi; Azpilicueta, Silva, Rudiger, Chilwell; Kante, Mount, Ziyech; Havertz, Giroud


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