How Chelsea could line up against Southampton with Havertz to keep place as Tuchel sweats over fitness of key man

CHELSEA head to Southampton tomorrow looking to avoid a third straight defeat.

The Blues were left stunned last weekend when Brentford thrashed them 4-1 at Stamford Bridge.

Then they were blown away by Karim Benzema’s hat-trick for Real Madrid at home on Wednesday in the Champions League.

They still remain five points clear of fourth-placed Arsenal in the chase for a top four finish.

But boss Thomas Tuchel will be desperate to return to winning ways on the South Coast.

He has a number of decisions to make regarding his team selection ahead of the trip to St Mary’s.


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And he has revealed that both Romelu Lukaku and Hakim Ziyech could miss out against Southampton while confirming Callum Hudson-Odoi is still absent through injury.

Tuchel said: “I don't hope so. Callum Hudson-Odoi is still out.

“We are a bit in doubt with Romelu and Hakim Ziyech.

“We need confirmation at 3pm to see if they are available tomorrow.”

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Edouard Mendy, despite his mistake against Real, will retain his place in goal.

Cesar Azpilicueta started at left wing-back on Wednesday with Reece James on the right, but with the Englishman only recently returning from injury, he could be rested.

That could see the skipper revert to the opposite flank with Marcos Alonso going down the left.

Veteran centre-half Thiago Silva may be rested ahead of the return leg in Madrid, which would see Trevoh Chalobah step in with Anotonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen alongside him.

N’Golo Kante was hooked at the break in midweek, and that may see him replaced with Mateo Kovacic to pair up with Jorginho in midfield.

Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic will also both likely remain in the starting XI.

Tuchel would likely have preferred to give Kai Havertz a breather against Southampton.

But he seems certain to play if both record signing Lukaku and Ziyech fail to make it.

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