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Chelsea team news: Expected 3-4-2-1 lineup vs Southampton with Tuchel set to make changes

Chelsea: Tuchel gives Blues team news

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Chelsea face Southampton at St Mary’s, looking for their sixth successive win under new manager Thomas Tuchel. Since the former Paris Saint-Germain boss replaced Frank Lampard, the Blues have picked up 13 Premier League points from a possible 15, closing the gap on the top-four in the process.

The hosts meanwhile are in a wretched run of form, having lost six Premier League matches on the spin for the first time in their history.

With that in mind, here’s the latest Chelsea team news and how we expect Tuchel to lineup on the south coast.

Chelsea expected lineup vs Southampton

Goalkeeper – Mendy.

Tuchel stunned neutrals by naming Kepa in the starting lineup against Newcastle on Monday.

The Spaniard was surplus to requirements under Frank Lampard, but has seemingly been given a fresh chance after Tuchel’s arrival.

“Well I encouraged him [Kepa] to see it as another opportunity and to take it as a fresh start, and to see the possibilities for him in it, and this is what he did,” the Blues boss said.

“So he earned his right to play, earned his right to play another game, he had two clean sheets, and that’s the best a GK can have for his confidence.

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Kepa has done little wrong in recent weeks, but it was made clear that Edouard Mendy is still the No.1 and will likely have the chance to remind fans why that is the case.

Defence – Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger

Thiago Silva has been ruled out with an injury, meaning it is likely a straight toss-up between Kurt Zouma and Andreas Christensen.

Christensen is another whose Chelsea career looked in doubt before Tuchel’s arrival, but has started the last two and hardly put a foot wrong.

Zouma hasn’t played since the defeat to Man City on January 3 and is likely to start on the bench for the trip to the south coast.

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Midfielders – James, Jorginho, Kante, Chilwell.

With a Champions League tie against Atletico Madrid in midweek, Tuchel, who is famed for his tinkering, could be tempted to make a few changes.

Callum Hudson-Odoi has been his go-to man at right wing-back, but starting Reece James keeps the former fresh, while the latter needs regular minutes.

Marcos Alonso seems to be at the front of the queue on the other flank, meaning Ben Chilwell could be given the nod against the Saints.

In the middle, N’Golo Kante is desperate for minutes, having made just one start since Tuchel’s appointment.

Alongside him, it’s a straight choice between Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho. However, with Kovacic’s bright performances, Tuchel could give him a rest ahead of Atleti.

Forwards – Ziyech, Abraham, Werner

With Pulisic’s ongoing injury problems, Hakim Ziyech could be handed a rare opportunity to impress.

The Moroccan’s first season in England has been derailed by injuries and is seemingly out of favour under the new boss.

But despite his lack of minutes, Tuchel is complimentary of the ex-Ajax star and could throw him into the action here.

Centrally, Tammy Abraham has shaken off an ankle injury and on the left, there are signs that Timo Werner could finally be finding some form, it doesn’t seem logical to break his rhythm at this point.

Chelsea expected lineup (3-4-2-1): Mendy; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger; James, Kante, Kovacic, Chilwell; Ziyech, Werner; Abraham.

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