Chelsea will travel to Elland Road on Wednesday night to take on Leeds United, who are currently in the relegation zone of the Premier League. Prior to this weekend’s FA Cup final, Chelsea will be trying to reverse their terrible run, which has seen them win just one in their previous five league games.
Recent examples include a 2-2 draw at home against Wolves, in which Thomas Tuchel’s team squandered a two-goal lead late into injury time. With fourth-placed Arsenal just one point behind and Tottenham in fifth place still lurking, it will be a frantic finish to determine whether or not the Blues will qualify for the Champions League.
Leeds will not be the most convenient location to go to. After a 2-1 loss away at Arsenal on Sunday, Jesse Marsch’s team has slipped back into the relegation zone, with vital defender Luke Ayling likely to miss the match after receiving a straight red card.
Following his brace against Wolves on Saturday, Romelu Lukaku was near to his absolute best and the manager will have to make a judgment on where he will start the game against Chelsea. Following his latest strike, the Belgian now has 14 goals for the season in all competitions, making him the club’s leading scorer despite enduring a difficult spell since his comeback.
Tuchel was adamant that he would not be drawn into discussing individual performances following his weekend brace, preferring to focus on the fact that his entire team had dropped points: “Okay, it was a good performance, but this is not the time to discuss individual performances or to sing the praises of individual players. We do this as a team, and we were unable to prevent ourselves from losing important points. Individuals should not be singled out for appreciation at this time.”
It is unclear if Lukaku will be called upon again in midweek, considering the importance of not only qualifying for the Champions League but also the impending FA Cup final against Liverpool. It’s possible that now is the best moment for the forward to find some form.
We’ll take a look at the whole squad that Tuchel has at his disposal for what has now become a must-win game in the Bundesliga this season.
Goalkeepers: Edouard Mendy, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Marcus Bettinelli
Defenders: Trevoh Chalobah, Malang Sarr, Thiago Silva, Marcos Alonso, Reece James, Cesar Azpilicueta, Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen
Midfielders: Saul Niguez, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Mason Mount, Mateo Kovacic, Ross Barkley,
Forwards: Kenedy, Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic, Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner