Romelu Lukaku and Kepa Arrizabalaga are in line to start, but Hakim Ziyech is ruled out again as Chelsea get set to face Luton Town in the FA Cup.
Chelsea will be hoping to put their Carabao Cup disappointment aside and qualify for the FA Cup quarter-finals when they lock horns with Championship high-fliers Luton Town at Kenilworth Road on Wednesday.
In the buildup to the game, Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel revealed there are several injury issues in his roster without confirming the identities of the players who could miss out. However, he admitted that Hakim Ziyech would be unavailable again after missing the Carabao Cup final. The German also expressed some concerns about Reece James, who made his return from injury on Sunday.
“We have a lot of players with physical overloads and we have some injuries from the match. It’s actually too much to comment about. It would be a long list so we need to see,” Tuchel said in his presser. “Hakim is not available for tomorrow as he was not available for the final unfortunately,” the manager added.
Speaking of James’s condition, the Chelsea boss said, “He was on brilliant form but now with a huge overload on his shoulders. The recommendation was 20 minutes before the match and it was over 70 minutes in a final with extra tension and pressure.” Despite that, the Englishman should feature against Luton as Cesar Azpilicueta is likely to miss out after getting injured against Liverpool.
James should slot in at right-back in a traditional four-man defensive unit for Chelsea, with Trevoh Chalobah and Antonio Rudiger lining up as the centre-backs. Malang Sarr ought to get the nod at left-back ahead of Marcos Alonso. Kepa Arrizabalaga, who will be under pressure after the events of the Carabao Cup final, could get the nod over Edouard Mendy between the sticks.
Moving into the middle of the park, N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic are expected to be rested after their exertions over the weekend. It should clear the path for Jorginho to start at Kenilworth Road. The Italian should have Saul Niguez as his partner in the centre of the pitch for Chelsea.
Mason Mount is also likely to be given a breather by the manager, which should pave the way for Ruben Loftus-Cheek to make a rare start as one of the two attacking midfielders in Chelsea’s 4-2-2-2 setup. He should pair up with Callum Hudson-Odoi in the final third and look to provide the forward thrust.
Romelu Lukaku came on as a substitute against Liverpool and made a solid impression, even having a goal ruled out for a very tight offside call. He should get the nod against Luton Town in the FA Cup tie, with Timo Werner set to be his partner up top.
Chelsea Predicted XI: Kepa, James, Chalobah, Rudiger, Sarr, Jorginho, Saul, Loftus-Cheek, Hudson-Odoi, Lukaku, Werner