Chelsea face Crystal Palace in Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final showdown at Wembley Stadium.
The Blues recently bowed out of the Champions League in the quarter-final stage following a 5-4 aggregate defeat at the hands of Real Madrid.
After a 3-1 first-leg defeat, they showed tremendous character at the Bernabeu to go 3-0 ahead and 4-3 on aggregate, but could not hold on.
Chelsea unfortunately had a goal chalked off for handball, but were also made to rue for missing quality chances in the back end of the game.
Manager Thomas Tuchel was still delighted with the club’s defence of their European title, and will now be eyeing a spot in the FA Cup final.
Here is how Chelsea could line up against Crystal Palace:
Goalkeeper: Tuchel played Edouard Mendy in goal for the FA Cup quarter-final tie against Middlesbrough as Kepa Arrizabalaga was out with an illness. He has previously said that he won’t be sentimental with his selection, but Kepa may still get the nod over Mendy this weekend, having been the regular Cup goalkeeper.
Defence: Reece James played in a back three alongside Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger in midweek, but could feature in a more advanced right wing-back role this time around. This could open up a spot for Andreas Christensen ahead of Trevoh Chalobah and Cesar Azpilicueta in central defence. With Ben Chilwell injured, Marcos Alonso should be an outright choice in the left wing-back spot once more. Malang Sarr and Saul Niguez have been far from effective for Chelsea, operating from the position.
Midfield: N’Golo Kante has gone through an inconsistent run of form. The £45 million star struggled to cope with Madrid’s midfield, losing possession on 16 occasions. It won’t be a surprise if he starts on the bench.
This could see Jorginho reinstated into the Chelsea line-up alongside Mateo Kovacic. The Italian has registered an assist in each of his last three starts. He nearly put Chelsea level on aggregate in extra-time against Madrid.
Attack: Tuchel could be tempted to stick with the same frontline from midweek. Mount continued to shine at the Bernabeu with the opening goal. Timo Werner has also found his feet lately. The German netted twice against Southampton last weekend, and bagged Chelsea’s third goal at the Bernabeu which nearly saw them progress to the last four of the Champions League.
Kai Havertz did not have the best of outings in the Spanish capital. He missed a wonderful headed chance in extra-time which could have taken the tie to penalties. However, he has still been in sublime form with six goals since the beginning of March, and should lead the line alongside Werner. Romelu Lukaku could make the bench, having returned to training after an Achilles injury.
Expected Chelsea line-up (3-4-1-2) vs Crystal Palace