Ben Chilwell and Thiago Silva should make their Premier League debuts, while Kai Havertz starts in the Chelsea attack against West Bromwich Albion.
After a ravishing victory against Barnsley in the Carabao Cup, Chelsea will look to continue on the winning path when they travel to The Hawthorns to face off against West Bromwich Albion for the first time since February 2018, on Saturday evening.
The Blues started life in the 2020/21 season on the back of an outstanding summer transfer window which saw Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Thiago Silva, Malang Sarr, Ben Chilwell, Hakim Ziyech and most recently, Edouard Mendy joining the club.
Frank Lampard spoke about the latest addition to the Chelsea squad, Mendy, during his pre-match presser, confirming that the Senegalese will not be available against West Brom, “He has had a long week when he has not really trained, he flew in yesterday and it feels too tight a turnaround to put him in contention to start the game.”
It’s official! Edouard Mendy is a Blue! ✍️?#WelcomeMendy
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) September 24, 2020
Mendy’s signing and Lampard’s statement makes it almost sure that Kepa Arrizabalaga will continue in goal. Still, it could well be his last time wearing the Chelsea shirt in the Premier League. Ahead of Kepa, there is a chance that Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell could be handed their Premier League debuts after they played some part in the Carabao Cup in midweek.
The Chelsea boss said, “Having come through the game the other day as they did, particularly Thiago who did start that game and has 60 minutes in the tank, that was good to see. With Ben I will maybe be a little more cautious just to make sure. His injury had been quite a challenging one, and I will make those calls, but they are in a good place at the moment.”
Partnering Chelsea’s Premier League debutants, Kurt Zouma and Reece James are expected to start in the back four. Andreas Christensen is available after serving his suspension for his dismissal against Liverpool last weekend, but should be pipped by Silva at the heart of the Chelsea defence.
We expect Chelsea to be shaped in a 4-2-3-1, with Mateo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante pairing in the double pivot. The three-man midfield did not work wonders for the Blues against Liverpool, and Lampard could be forced to play a tough hand here.
Kai Havertz put in a perfect shift against Barnsley, scoring a hat-trick in just his third game for Chelsea, which could do his confidence a world of good. Havertz will retain his spot in the no. 10 role, while Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi partner him on the left and right, respectively.
Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic are far from being match fit, according to Lampard, but have rejoined full training. They might get a cameo against Tottenham in the Carabao Cup next week, but a start against West Brom seems unlikely.
Finally, Timo Werner is expected to complete this Chelsea jigsaw as the sole striker. He will be hungry for his maiden goal, and the game against West Brom might be the perfect opportunity to impress the high-demanding Chelsea fanbase.
Chelsea Predicted XI: Kepa; James, Zouma, Silva, Chilwell; Kante, Kovacic; Hudson-Odoi, Havertz, Mount; Werner