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Chelsea vs West Brom: Injury updates, Tuchel’s best formation and best possible lineup

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The international break was concluded on Wednesday, and players are now returning to their various club sides as club football resumes. There will be some interesting action in various top flight leagues in Europe, particularly in the English Premier League, where the race for Champions League qualification heats up as we approach the season finale.

Match day 30 will take centre stage this weekend and to start things up, Chelsea will be playing host to strugglers West Bromwich Albion in an early lunchtime kickoff on Saturday.

Form

The Blues have generally been in splendid form since Thomas Tuchel tool over in January, with a run of 14 games unbeaten (10 wins, 4 draws) seeing them move from 10th place back into the top four in the league, while they have also secured spots in the Quarter finals and Semi finals of the UEFA Champions League and FA Cup respectively. Their last league game ended in a goalless draw against Leeds United at Elland Road, while they defeated Atletico Madrid and Sheffield United 2-0 in each of their last two games before the break.

For West Brom, they have been struggling this season and look set to return to the English Championship, just one season after gaining promotion. They lie 19th on the league table, with only Sheffield United having a worse campaign.

The last time these two met…

Chelsea had to score three second half goals to avert a shocking result and rescue a point, and they came back from a 3-0 halftime deficit to salvage a 3-3 draw at the Hawthorns in the reverse fixture earlier this season. Poor defending and individual errors from the Blues gifted West Brom a 3-0 halftime lead, but an improved second half display and goals from academy graduates Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Tammy Abraham sealed the comeback.

Injury updates

There’s a mixture of good and bad news concerning injuries. The good news is that Thiago Silva and Tammy Abraham, both whom have been out injured for a while, have since returned to training and could be in contention to start. The bad news however, is that midfield duo N’golo Kante and Jorginho are injured. Kante was injured on international duty with France, while Jorginho’s injury occurred earlier, and he didn’t even make the Italian squad. It is unclear how much recovery they’ve made at the moment, but Tuchel should clear that up in his next press conference scheduled for tomorrow.

Callum Hudson-Odoi also had his international break cut short after sustaining a shoulder injury while on duty with the England u-21s, but his issue isn’t at all serious.

Best formation/lineup

West Brom will try to prove a stubborn defence, but I expect Tuchel to stick with his 3 man defense lineup.

Antonio Rudiger, Kai Havertz and Mason Mount all played each of their nation’s three games in the qualifiers during the break, so it stands to reason that they should be rested, especially with the Champions League Quarter final first leg against FC Porto coming up just next week. This game should provide ample opportunity for Thiago Silva to return to the lineup.

With Kante and Jorginho doubtful, Billy Gilmour should finally get his chance to shine alongside Mateo Kovacic at the middle of the park, while West Brom’s physicality and dogged defending means Olivier Giroud is the perfect man to lead the line, assisted by the dribbling and pace of Christian Pulisic, as well as the vision and playmaking of Hakim Ziyech. Both sets of qualities will be key to unlocking Sam Allardyce’s side.

I believe this lineup will be ideal to get the needed result against West Brom. Chelsea have to take the three points in this game, as there won’t be many easier fixtures left. This lineup should do the job perfectly

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