Final friendly before the Super Cup but a special friendly!
Chelsea take on bitter London rivals Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night for a friendly which is party of the Mind Charity Series. Mind is a charity that focuses on mental health and with what has happened over the last two years the issue is more relevant right now than ever before.
Tottenham have had a whirlwind of a summer which started with the search for a new manager. It took ages for Spurs to find a manager with Poch, Conte, Foncesca, just some of the names that came close before saying no thanks. In the end the lucky manager to win the seat was Nuno Esprito Santo who left Wolves at the end of last season. Nuno has got down to work at Spurs and they have made some impact in the market. Rose, Foyth, Lamela, Parrott, and Hart have left the club amongst other lesser known names. Gollini a goalkeeper from Atalanta has come in on loan while Bryan Gil has also joined from Sevilla. Gil is an exciting winger. Cristian Romero is set to join the club as well. Romero is a highly rated centre back from Atalanta as well. Along with all the positivity there is the glaring problem of Harry Kane who is pushing for a move and has not shown up to training. Spurs have so far played 3 friendlies, a draw against Leyton Orient and wins against Colchester and MK Dons.
Chelsea go into this game having beaten Arsenal in our last friendly. It was a good game with some positive moments but again we lacked that killer touch up front. The transfer machine has picked up at Chelsea with centre back Kounde being targeted from Sevilla and the one and only Romelu Lukaku getting set up for a return to Stamford Bridge. By the time we play this game there could be some serious movement on both those fronts. With all that going on Tuchel is still preparing for the season ahead and has several players to select from as he tries to trim the squad and pass judgement on fringe players.
Chelsea Team Preview
Tuchel now has all players back in training. Jorginho, Emerson, Mount, Chilwell, and James all returned from their holidays while Silva and Ampadu also joined in. Below is the squad I think we could see play against Spurs.
- Mendy, Kepa, Bettinelli
- Sterling, Zappacosta, Rahman, Chalobah, Sarr, Zouma, Rudiger, Azpilicueta, Christensen
- Drinkwater, Loftus-Cheek, Kovacic, Kante, Bakayoko
- Pulisic, Ziyech, Hudson-Odoi, Abraham, Michy, Havertz, Werner, Broja, Kenedy, Musonda
The players that returned on Monday shouldn’t be involved in the game but one never knows. Anjorin tested positive and hasn’t been involved but Musonda could play some part. Bakayoko was not involved against Arsenal but should get some game time as well. Broja scored in his development squad game and could get some minutes again. Kenedy might be another player who is tried out at right wing back with Alonso possibly missing out again. This should be the last game for several of these players. Zappacosta, Clarke-Salter, Barkley, Michy for sure won’t feature going forward.
The next category would be players that have impressed but it’s undecided what happens. Rahman, Chalobah, Sarr, Drinkwater would fall in this category. Sterling, Loftus-Cheek, Broja could remain in the squad going forward. I expect a similar lineup to the one that started against Arsenal. This could be the last time we see players like Tammy in a Chelsea shirt as well. The same could be said for Zouma if a move happens in the coming week.
I would go Mendy in goal, Christensen, Chalobah, and Rudiger as the three centre backs. Pulisic and Hudson-Odoi as the wing backs with Loftus-Cheek, and Kante in midfield. Ziyech, Werner, and Havertz to start up front once again. I would like to see Broja, Musonda, Bakayoko, and Bettinelli get minutes. Generally everyone who is part of the squad will play.
Starting XI Prediction
It’s going to be a good night for Chelsea. The first time Stamford Bridge will be full since last year. The Champions League trophy will be paraded in front of the fans before the game. Add to that we are playing Spurs. Add to that we could have all but signed Lukaku by then. So much excitement. COME ON CHELSEA!!!