Chelsea’s season has taken a significant step forward under Thomas Tuchel, who has had his team’s advancement in the FA Cup on the line twice in as many days. While they were knocked out of the Champions League after a spirited fight against Real Madrid in the Spanish capital, they are currently in the FA Cup semi-finals.
The FA Cup, football’s oldest tournament, is the only piece of silverware that the Blues have a realistic chance of winning this season. Tuchel will be hoping to take advantage of the chance to clinch a spot in yet another final, despite the fact that the league seems to be too far away.
When asked about the task of playing Palace, the German coach responded as follows: “It is a tremendous honour to be invited to play at Wembley Stadium. The counter-attacks, individual quality, and dribbling must all be controlled and played with the same degree of intensity, and we must be really well prepared for this. They have the ability to generate an atmosphere, particularly at Selhurst Park and Wembley Stadium.”
A perfect squad selection will be critical to giving them the greatest opportunity of winning the championship. That stated, we take a look at a few prospective Blues line-ups for this weekend’s game against the Reds.
Line up against Real Madrid remains the same.
Despite losing in extra time on aggregate to Real Madrid in midweek, the Blues made a strong impression in Madrid. Reece James’ return to the starting lineup at centre-back aided in the improvement of defensive stability, while Ruben Loftus-arrival Cheek’s at right-wing-back provided strength and the opportunity for his compatriot to overlap when required.
It was the midfield partnership of Mateo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante that enabled them to match the intensity levels of Real Madrid, which was crucial against a frenzied Crystal Palace team. It seems that the front three of Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, and Mason Mount have all found some form in terms of goal scoring.
Lineup: Mendy; James, Silva, Rudiger; Loftus-Cheek, Kante, Kovacic, Alonso; Mount, Werner; Havertz.
Tuchel might try to exert greater control over the atmosphere at Wembley, aiming to do a better job than his opponent in handling the situation. Jorginho, the midfielder, is capable of serving as a metronome in the centre of the field.
With Cesar Azpilicueta back in action after his comeback from injury, the Blues might benefit from his experience in the defensive midfielder position.
Lineup: Mendy; Azpilicueta, Silva, Rudiger; James, Jorginho, Kovacic, Alonso; Mount, Werner; Havertz.
A change from three to four
Another alternative is to go back to a four-man defence, which is something that the head coach has experimented with in the previous weeks. It might enable for an additional midfielder to provide more passing options against the Palace press, making it simpler to go past them in critical parts of the field.
Lineup: Mendy; James, Silva, Rudiger, Alonso; Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic; Mount, Werner; Havertz.