Chelsea picked up another win in the Premier League on Saturday, beating Newcastle United and securing their position on top of the PL table. Next up, they head back into the Champions League, playing their fourth match of the tournament.
The Blues face Malmo in Sweden so Tuchel will be looking to pick up all three points and thereby put one foot in the knockout stages of the tournament. Chelsea are currently second in their group, three points behind Juventus so a win on Tuesday will really help them move away from the bottom two sides.
Malmo have not beaten Chelsea in their previous three meetings so the English side will not be too worried about Tuesday’s game, despite missing some key players due to injuries. The Swedish side have not been in great form at home recently, winning only four of their last seven matches. So we really do not expect them to pull out anything from this UCL game.
Thomas Tuchel is going to heavily rotate his starting XI on Tuesday meaning several fringe players are in line to start and impress their manager.
Chelsea team news vs Malmo:
Edouard Mendy will be rested as Kepa comes into the side and the three-man back line will also change with Thiago Silva moving to the bench and Trevoh Chalbah coming into the first XI.
N’Golo Kante returned to the side during the weekend but the Frenchman is sure to be protected meaning Saul Niguez is going to get a start. The summer signing has been struggling for game time and this will be the perfect game for the manager to put him on the pitch.
Mateo Kovacic picked up a hamstring injury during training last week and the manager has confirmed that he will be out for a few weeks. Kovacic’s injury means players like Barkley and Loftus-Cheek will be pushing for starts.
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The manager said last Friday, as quoted: “We had some very sad news yesterday because he injured himself in the very last minute of training. It’s a hamstring injury and he will be out for some weeks.”
Reece James was the star of the show vs Newcastle United but he will be rested with Azpilicueta coming back into the side. Marcos Alonso is also expected to start.
Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner are both sidelined with injuries and the manager has confirmed that the forwards will return only after the international break.
Talking about the duo, the manager said: “I’m not a friend of deadlines and putting pressure on expectations, but I can tell you that it’s realistic that both of them [are targeting] after the international break.”
Christian Pulisic has finally returned from injury but he might only feature against Burnley next weekend. Mason Mount though is expected to start against Malmo since he should fully recover from his illness.
The absence of Lukaku and Werner means Kai Havertz will once again get to lead the line, thereby getting more minutes under his belt.
Chelsea predicted line up vs Malmo:
Predicted Starting Line up: Kepa; Chalobah, Christensen, Rudiger; Barkley/Loftus-Cheek, Saul Niguez, Alonso, Azpilicueta; Mount, Hudson-Odoi; Havertz.