Just hours after being confirmed as the Head coach of Chelsea, in replacement of the departed Frank Lampard, Thomas Tuchel took charge of the club’s training session for the first time as they prepare to face Wolves on Wednesday night.
The former Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint Germain boss has the opportunity to begin bright under the lights at Stamford Bridge and would want to pick his best XI to achieve just that.
He has been widely regarded as a man with an obsession for tactical detail and flexibility and that could see some fringe players having a lease of life and his side playing with a different identity.
Ahead of the game, we take a look at how Tuchel could set his team up against Nuno Espirito’s men on Wednesday night.
Kepa’s hopes of regaining his first spot might have been given a boost, with the departure of Lampard, but that reclaiming quest may be extended a little longer.
The Spanish goalkeeper lost his place upon the arrival of Edouard Mendy and has since then been reduced to second choice goalkeeper in charge of cup competitions an dead rubber fixtures.
That trend could continue, with Thomas Tuchel expected to pick Mendy for his first game against Wolves.
Alongside the Senegalese, Thomas Tuchel would have no problem selecting Thiago Silva to lead the defense after working with the Brazilian at PSG.
With his experience and knowledge about Tuchel’s methodology, Silva could be one of the first names on the team sheet and could be partnered by Antonio Rudiger who has found game minutes hard to come by this season.
The German was a target for Tuchel while at PSG and his arrival could change his fortune after he came close to leaving the club last summer.
No changes are expected in the full backs positions with Ben Chilwell set to slot in at left back and Reece James on the other end of the pitch.
Like Rudiger, Jorginho could also return to the starting lineup of Chelsea with reports suggesting that the new Chelsea boss is an admirer of the Italian.
Tuchel while at Paris Saint Germain tried to sign Jorginho and could now have him in the middle of the field to orchestrate his possession-based style of football.
Jorginho’s return to the starting lineup could mean a return of Ngolo Kante into an advanced position-if the player is deemed fit.
The France international was installed in his natural defensive midfield role after two years of playing as a number 8 under Sarri and Lampard.
Mason Mount could fill the last slot left in midfield, as he has been one of Chelsea’s brightest players this season. The player was adored by Lampard for his relentless and unique pressing abilities and that is expected to get the attention of Tuchel who is a firm believer of the Gegenpressing philosophy.
Timo Werner might still be struggling in front of goal but he could be handed his first start under his new boss at Stamford Bridge.
The German with his extraordinary pace and quick feet could be pivotal in Tuchel’s off the ball pressing and ruthlessness in counter attacking plays.
Werner is yet to live up to expectation following his move from Leipzing to Chelsea in the summer and failed to score from the spot in Chelsea’s win Luton Town in the FA cup at the weekend. He will, thus, be hoping that Tuchel’s coming will help kickstart his season.
Christian Pulisic is expected to line up on the left side of attack beside Timo Werner after reuniting with his former boss.
Hakim Ziyech is also likely to start on the right hand side of the attack, with Tuchel hoping that his bright combination with with Reece James will come to fore in his first game in charge.
Likely Chelsea XI to start in Tuchel’s first game
Edouard Mendy; Reece James, Thiago Silva, Antonio Rudiger, Ben Chilwell; Jorginho, Ngolo Kante, Mason Mount; Timo Werner, Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech