Chelsea FC XI vs Porto: Lineup that should start, confirmed team news, injury latest for Champions League

Team News

Olivier Giroud is in contention to start Chelsea’s Champions League quarter-final first leg against Porto.

The France striker has only started one of the last six games – but has been a talisman in Europe this season, including his stunning goal in the 1-0 win away to Atletico Madrid in the round of 16.

He scored all four of Chelsea’s goals in the group stage win against Sevilla – and with Wednesday’s game being played in the neutral venue of Seville, Tuchel has hinted he could be in line for a start.

“He’s in the running, he’s in the squad, and he’s absolutely excited to return to Sevilla, to play there, it gives him a good feeling,” said the Chelsea manager.

“And he’s very strong for us in the Champions League, he has history in Sevilla, scoring many goals in this campaign. So obviously he’s in the running.”

Chelsea have also been boosted by the availability of Christian Pulisic, N’Golo Kante and Tammy Abraham.

Tuchel added: “They are fit enough to be in the squad and will be in the squad all three, that’s good news.

“N’Golo just did his last test and will be on the bench. He feels very comfortable, comfortable enough to be on the bench.”

Let’s take a look at how he should set his side up.

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Edouard Mendy

Edouard Mendy (GK) – The West Brom game wasn’t his finest, but Mendy is still Chelsea’s starter and doesn’t deserve that spot taken away from him just yet.

Cesar Azpilicueta (CB) – It’s times like this that Azpilicueta needs to show why he’s Chelsea’s captain. The Blues need his leadership and composure to bounce back in style.

Andreas Christensen (CB) – Thiago Silva looked rusty against West Brom. He was unlucky to get sent off, but Chelsea can’t have that kind of uncertainty again, particularly given Christensen has been excellent.

Antonio Rudiger (CB) – If Rudiger’s clash with Kepa Arrizabalaga truly is a thing of the past, he should start here. Kurt Zouma was nowhere near good enough against the Baggies.

2. Midfielders

Billy Gilmour
Reece James (RM) – To see James clashing with Azpilicueta shows he cares. He’ll want a huge reaction here, and Chelsea need that kind of commitment.

Mateo Kovacic (CM) – N’Golo Kante trained on Tuesday but probably isn’t ready to start, meaning the option to hand both Kovacic and Jorginho the spot on the bench they deserve isn’t there. Let’s go with the lesser of two evils, Kovacic.

Billy Gilmour (CM) – Jorginho does not deserve to retain his spot in the team, and while you can argue that turning to Gilmour is a little risky, most fans would rather take a chance on the Scot than give Jorginho another run out.

Ben Chilwell (LM) – Rested for the West Brom game, it’s time to bring Chilwell back into the fold.

Mason Mount (AM) – In his 45-minute cameo, Mount justified his status as Chelsea’s best player right now. In a game of this magnitude, he’s the first name on the team sheet.

Kai Havertz (AM) – Havertz also spent most of the West Brom game on the bench, so he should be raring to go for this one.

3. Forward

Olivier Giroud

Olivier Giroud (ST) – It would be nice to see Tammy Abraham given the chance to prove himself here, but on such a big stage, Giroud and his European goalscoring record should earn him a start.

 

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