Soccer

Chelsea predicted lineup vs Southampton with Tuchel set to make three changes

Chelsea will look to continue their near-flawless start under new head coach Thomas Tuchel when they go away to Southampton in Saturday's early Premier League kick-off.

Tuchel was tasked with picking up the pieces at Stamford Bridge when he replaced Frank Lampard in the hot-seat last month, and he has got off to a flyer by winning five of his first six matches while only conceding a single goal.

The German could be set for a tough test at St Mary's, nevertheless, up against a Saints side who are seeking a turnaround after losing six matches on the bounce.

He will be without injured duo Thiago Silva and Christian Pulisic, while Tammy Abraham and Kai Havertz are doubts to feature.

Kepa Arrizabalaga earned a shock recall in Monday's 2-0 win over Newcastle, but after the game Tuchel insisted Edouard Mendy remains his No.1 goalkeeper in west London. So expect the latter to come back in between the sticks on the south coast.

Tuchel appears set on using a back three, with captain Cesar Azpilicueta likely to play alongside Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger in Silva's absence.

Callum Hudson-Odoi has operated at right wing-back of late, yet for what should prove a high-paced encounter Reece James could come in as a slightly more defensive option up against speedy Liverpool loanee Takumi Minamino on the left flank.

Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic are clearly Tuchel's first-choice central-midfield partnership, leaving N'Golo Kante with a problem on his hands.

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  • The new Chelsea boss also seems to be a big fan of Marcos Alonso, who was ostracised under predecessor Lampard, and he should keep his place here at left wing-back.

    Mason Mount has solidified his place in one of the two attacking midfield slots and should start again alongside Hudson-Odoi, who has been one of Tuchel's brightest sparks since he took the reins.

    And fresh from his first league goal in over three months against Newcastle, Timo Werner could be unleashed upfront for Chelsea on Saturday afternoon.

    Chelsea predicted lineup vs Southampton (3-4-2-1):Mendy; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger; James, Jorginho, Kovacic, Alonso; Mount, Hudson-Odoi; Werner

    READ MORE:Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel explains Hakim Ziyech absence in recent games

    READ MORE:Fikayo Tomori explains confusing Frank Lampard advice that left him in the dark at Chelsea

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