In our latest episode of The Chelsea Spot podcast, Parth (Owner – @CFCParee) was joined by Daniel Childs (Guest – @SonOfChelsea) & Peter (Guest – @23Pankovski) to look ahead at the next few months for the Blues. The boys discussed Lewis Hall and Omari Hutchinson’s potential involvement in the next few months, whether Gvardiol and Colwill can play together, Nkunku joining in the Summer and so much more!
In our latest episode of The Chelsea Spot podcast, Parth (@CFCParee) was joined by Football.London journalist Scott (Guest – @scott_trotter) to discuss the academy players set to be involved against Aston Villa, the upcoming January transfer window, the World Cup and so much more!
Chelsea’s fixture against Dinamo Zagreb on Wednesday is pretty much a dead rubber – the Blues have their first position in the Champions League Group Stage already confirmed. It’ll be a chance to rest the important players ahead of the massive game against Arsenal on the weekend. More importantly though, it’s the perfect opportunity to give a few academy players some very valuable minutes.
In our 2020/2021 Champions League success, Frank Lampard gave Tino Anjorin and Billy Gilmour their European debuts in the last game of the group stages – the exact same situation as we are in now. Graham Potter is known to rotate more, and he has an even busier schedule with the World Cup looming, so there really isn’t much excuse for the former Brighton manager.
Rules and Context
There’s a few rules and context points which I may as well go over to clear things up.
There is a List B for UEFA competitions, which can be updated by clubs throughout the season at any point. If they want to feature in the game on Wednesday, they need to be registered by midnight tomorrow (01/11/2022):
Clubs are entitled to register an unlimited number of players on List B during the season, but the list needs to be submitted no later than 24:00 CET the day before a match.
Lewis Hall and Charlie Webster (as well as Armando Broja) have already been registered on this list, so any other academy players who are set to be involved will need to be added to this list. However, it’s important to note that Omari HutchinsonCANNOT be added to this list and therefore won’t be able to feature on Wednesday for Chelsea. The reasoning is due to the following:
A player may be registered on List B if he is born on, or after, 1 January 2001 and has been eligible to play for the club concerned for any uninterrupted period of two years since his 15th birthday by the time he is registered with UEFA – or for a total of three consecutive years with a maximum of one loan period to a club from the same association for a period not longer than one year. Players aged 16 may be submitted if they have been registered with the club for the previous two years without interruption.
It’s a massive shame since he’s been by far the standout player in the academy this season, but unlike Carney Chukwuemeka he wasn’t registered on List A and won’t be able to play in the competition until the knockout stages (where the registration window opens once again for List A).
Some other general academy context is that the U21s had a game on Sunday evening, hence there was very little involvement in the first team training session today (Monday). The two pictured to have been involved were Silko Thomas (RWB/Winger) who didn’t play last night and Zak Sturge (LWB) who only got a few minutes from the bench. I suspect that tomorrow’s session will consist of more academy players, or at least I hope so.
It’s also important to note that the U19s will have a game on the same day in the UEFA Youth League, but with Chelsea already being out of the competition it’s not like they will need the experience of Webster or Hall for example, and may want to give opportunities to some of the younger players. Some of them have been on international duty with England over the last few days, so it’s going to be fascinating as to how the club manage each of the squads on Wednesday.
So…who could be involved?
I’d be pretty gutted if one of Bashir Humphreys or Alfie Gilchrist (both CBs) didn’t start for Chelsea. Assuming Azpilicueta is guaranteed to start, in either a four or five at the back formation, there’s still two CB options open. Thiago Silva and Trevoh Chalobah absolutely need a rest as any injury to them could destroy the whole season. If it’s a 5 at the back, he could play Cucurella and Koulibaly next to Azpi but the Senegalese’s defender fitness is still unknown and I think it’d be a massive risk to start him. If it’s a 4 at the back, I can’t see Cucurella playing at CB so that opens up a slot for one of Bashir or Alfie – as well as 4atb utilising the midfield and attack better where we are much more stacked. Josh Brooking is one who has trained with the first team a few times under Graham, but I have a feeling he’s got a small knock as he would’ve been in training today.
Reece James’ injury has pretty much reduced any quality on the right-hand side in both attacking and defensive sense. Azpilicueta clearly isn’t too favoured by Potter and we all know he’s a bit past it, and the Loftus-Cheek/Pulisic shifts at wing-back haven’t been too successfull either. If he does decide to go with a 5, Dion Rankine (RWB) simply has to play. He’s been excellent at wingback this season under Mark Robinson, and has really matured as a player in the last few years. It’s an easy comparison to make, but his blistering pace and some of the tricks he likes to pull out really does remind you of some of the things Tariq Lamptey was doing in our academy.
I don’t think we can expect many other players in the starting lineup. As much as I’d like to see more than one or two, Potter does also have to keep his squad players happy and I suspect the likes of Zakaria, Ziyech, Chukwuemeka, Aubameyang/Broja and Chilwell are all guaranteed to start while we could still easily see the likes of Gallagher, Pulisic, Jorginho and even Mount play for confidence.
There still should be some more on the bench though with a view of coming on as a substitute. Lewis Hall (midfielder) has had first team experience before under Thomas Tuchel, and his versatility (has played at LCB and LWB before) may give him the nudge over someone like Charlie Webster (midfielder), who still very much should be getting some minutes with the quality he has. Ben Elliott is a midfielder/forward who would fit Potter’s system really well in my opinion, and he’s really thrived in the 21s so far. Not being able to play for the U19s may actually be an advantage in that sense for him.
Here’s just a couple of lineups that I think Potter could go ahead with. I’m going to assume Koulibaly and Chukwuemeka are both fit enough to start, and that there are no other issues:
I also very much realise Potter could do the second lineup with Loftus-Cheek or a winger instead of Rankine…
I don’t think there are any other academy players who I’m missing. Let me know if I am on any of our social platformsand make sure to follow us for more academy related content! I should be getting an update tomorrow on the squad for Wednesday so stay tuned…
In our latest episode of The Chelsea Spot Podcast, Paree (Owner – @CFCParee) was joined by Aleksander (Guest – @alelcsander) to discuss all things academy. The boys talked about last season, the new head coach appointment, the players to look out for the in the U23s and U18s as well as the players out on loan! We went into a lot of detail so if you’re interested in the academy, it’s the perfect listen. FYI: This episode was recorded on 27/07/2022. By the time this episode has been released, some of the situations for the players may have changed.
One of my favourite times of the season has returned – preseason. Some hate it, some love it. For me, nothing beats the excitement of the return of football. New signings, new academy players and new tactics (and normally a new manager).
For Chelsea fans, it couldn’t get any better either. Life under Todd Boehly has started off with a bang, and it seems like Thomas Tuchel is finally getting the proper backing he deserves.
Our first pre-season fixture is tomorrow morning (U.K.) and I know I’ll be watching at 3am, hoping to see some of these players I’m about to mention below. Here are just a few names I’m really looking forward to watching over the next 3-4 games:
I understand Levi has a minor knock and as a result is unlikely to feature in tonight’s game against Club America, but that doesn’t change him being one of the largest talking points at the moment in world football.
I recognise it’s slightly hypocritical as I have been banging on about him on a weekly basis for the last 36 months, but I do feel the talk is getting a bit too much now. Whether that’s people overhyping him and saying he should be starting every week, or people saying that that he’s got a massive ego and should stop complaining about wanting a chance.
You do have to remember that this is a 19 year old who has just come out of the Championship. He’s in a very very similar situation to Reece James coming out of his loan at Wigan. With that in mind, you must allow Levi to make mistakes this season (assuming he stays) and trust that we’ll see the best of him in the next few years just like we’re seeing with James now.
I don’t need to talk too much about him other as you’ve all heard about the talent he’s got, and it’s time for Colwill to be given those chances and for him to take it. There’s no better centre backs to learn from than Koulibaly and Silva.
Ethan’s an option who still isn’t being talked about enough. The matter of fact is last season he performed excellently in multiple positions in one of Europe’s top 5 leagues.
Despite the RB Leipzig loan not working out and going down with Sheffield United, he still has so much experience under his belt at such a young age. The big one certainly being playing for Wales against some of the biggest nations in the world.
He can play at centre-back and in defensive midfield to a really high level, and last season showed he can even do a shift at RWB. That surely makes him a really attractive player for Tuchel to keep around, and I do think he’d stay if he was given rotational minutes.
I’ve always been a massive fan of Ethan and I wouldn’t be surprised if his pre-season is similar to Trevoh Chalobah’s last year where he surprises a couple people – manager included.
“Men’s” signing number 2 of the season. There isn’t much else to say to this other than I can’t wait to see him in action.
We unfortunately may see him even later than Raheem Sterling as he hasn’t started training yet, but what I’m most looking forward to is what position he’ll play in the back three.
I imagine he’ll play at LCB, with Silva centrally and Azpilicueta or Trevoh on the right hand side. I’ve also been told Levi in first team training so far has been playing centrally, which does make a lot of sense as he’s one of the best passers I’ve seen and can learn so much from Thiago.
I think most people will be surprised by Koulibaly’s dribbling ability. Don’t be shocked if he goes on a few of those Rudiger runs…
It has now been confirmed by Conor himself, and Tuchel, that he will be staying at the club this season.
Conor’s an interesting one. I think Tuchel sees him as an option in midfield, and as much as he has absolutely done a job there before, I’d rather use him a bit further forward.
Ideally we switch to four at the back and use him in midfield as that’ll certainly be utilising our squad depth fully, but that doesn’t seem to be an option currently.
I remember during the academy I wasn’t totally convinced on Gallagher, and then I watched his debut for Charlton Athletic and everything switched. He then went on to having a great loan at Swansea, followed by two impressive Premier League shifts at West Brom and Crystal Palace.
There’s a bit of work to do with him on the ball, but are there any 22 year olds in the world who don’t need improving? I remember having this exact same conversation about Mason Mount one or two seasons ago. It’ll come. Conor’s here to stay.
Billy….this is difficult. I’m a massive fan, and I think Tuchel is too. His loan at Norwich did not go to plan, but in the same way I viewed Loftus-Cheek’s time at Fulham and Ampadu’s at Sheffield United, it’s valuable Premier League experience which he may not have got if he stuck around at the club.
But, I’m not sure the full trust from the manager is there. I remember vividly the game against Arsenal under lockdown when Gilmour was playing well and Jorginho was one of the worst players on the pitch, and it was the former who was subbed off.
But then again Billy started against City at the Etihad and was brilliant, with Rudiger individually picking him out afterwards for his performance.
I do think this two man midfield suits him quite well too. I’d be interested to see how he’d play with someone like Ethan next to him (in pre season). I’ve got no doubt Billy’s Chelsea quality, and maybe he senses a chance with Kante and Loftus-Cheek very behind at the moment in the plane due to their vaccination status.
Academy Player of the Season – it was only right he’d be on this tour in the US. It’s a bit of a shame it’s only him and Teddy Sharman-Lowe from the academy, but I don’t want to complain too much.
I’m slightly worried that he may not get as many minutes as he deserves as he’s still got Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, Christian Pulisic, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Mason Mount all ahead of him in terms of “squad status”.
But, maybe he’ll play a bit more at wingback especially after his success there in the Euros as captain, despite him preferring to play higher up the pitch or more centrally.
I really hope it helps with the contract talks too. I wonder if it’s a bit too late to go on loan as he wouldn’t have enough time to train with the other clubs ahead of the new season, so maybe staying with there being 5 subs may be the best choice for him at the moment. It’s one to keep an eye on.
I seem to be saying this every year, but I do really think it’s make or break season for Callum.
He’s had an early start after coming back from his injury which kept him out for months, and he looks much bigger and says he feels more confident in his body.
The Sterling signing certainly makes things difficult for him as Mount is pretty undroppable for Tuchel and you’d expect Raheem to start. Callum needs to make sure he’s that third option whenever the other two are dropped/rested or there’s a change in formation so Mason goes into midfield.
We saw when Callum was given that trust last season and played constantly, he would perform and we suffered creatively without him. It’s now time for him to be that guy we all know he can be.
The forgotten man…when he shouldn’t be that forgotten.
Often in the past compared to Ruben Loftus-Cheek, so far he’s followed a pretty similar senior career too where he hasn’t played enough football due to injury and certain decisions which haven’t worked out.
I worry that he’s going to be told at the end of this tour that he’s not a wanted man, and that he’ll go on loan again to a club which has settled already and it’ll take even longer for Tino to get minutes.
Either way, this attacking role in our formation suits Tino to a gem. We also shouldn’t forget that this is one of the best attacking talents Cobham have ever produced, physically dominating everyone and probably still being the best finisher at the club.
Similarly to Billy, Tuchel’s a massive fan. Last pre-season he was unfortunate picking up COVID at a terrible time, so maybe with more minutes he can really show what he’s about.
I’ve already mentioned him in this piece a few times, but Chelsea fans should be so excited to see him play in that darker blue.
What I can see happening is him missing a sitter or scuffing a shot and that being replayed all over Twitter, when in reality it’ll be the other good stuff they ignore.
It’ll also be quite interesting to see how the Chelsea squad, and Tuchel, adapt to having someone like Sterling in the squad. Having such an elite winger with incredible movement and technical ability is something the Chelsea players won’t be used to.
A lot of bids have been going in for the Albanian recently. He’s a wanted man.
How wanted is he at Chelsea, though? If I’m being honest, I think he had a very good couple months at Southampton showing he’s got Premier League ability, but other than that went a bit missing and it seemed like defenders had worked him out.
And that is absolutely fine. He’s still so so young. I remember last pre-season he even shocked me as at Vitesse he struggled physically, but all of a sudden he was shrugging off players and linking up really well.
I think he could be a really useful option to have off the bench or against certain opposition this season, so I wouldn’t be against keeping him and pushing him alongside Kai Havertz.
So, that’s it for the preview. There are other players I’m going to keep an eye on as always, but which ones are yours? Let us know on our social media platforms!
I also wrote an academy season preview for Football London where I talked about who to look out for and Neil Bath’s new responsibility under Todd Boehly – so please check that out!
In our latest episode of The Chelsea Spot Podcast, Paree (Owner – @CFCParee) was joined by Dan (Admin – @danbarkzr) to discuss last night’s disappointing 3-1 loss to Nottingham Forest in the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup, the prospect of moving away from Stamford Bridge, Conor Gallagher and Marc Guehi’s performance against Arsenal and finally tomorrow’s Champions League Quarter Final first leg against Real Madrid!
In our latest episode of The Chelsea Spot Podcast, Paree (Owner – @CFCParee) was joined by Orlando (Admin – @0rland1nho) to discuss the crazy last week surrounding Chelsea. Talking about Chelsea’s Carabao Cup final loss to Liverpool, our instant reaction to Abramovich’s statement that he is selling the club, the problems hidden in the 4-0 win over Burnley and looking forward to Norwich on Thursday.
In our latest episode of The Chelsea Spot Podcast, Paree (Owner – @CFCParee) was joined by Danny (Writer – @danny_new_) to discuss the FA Youth Cup 3-2 victory against Blackpool in the Quarter Finals, where Harvey Vale scored an absolute screamer and the likes of Lewis Hall and Charlie Webster impressed. The boys also looked ahead to this Sunday’s final in the Carabao Cup against Liverpool and expressed their nervy feeling…
In our latest episode of The Chelsea Spot Podcast, Paree (Owner – @CFCParee), Dan (Admin – @danbarkzr) & Rob (Admin – @CFCRobL) gave their thoughts after our uncomfortable 1-1 draw with Brighton. They also discussed Thomas Tuchel’s faults so far in blue, the front three dilemma involving Mason Mount and Romelu Lukaku, switching formation once again versus Spurs and Marina’s terrible squad planning in the Summer!
In our latest episode of The Chelsea Spot Podcast, Paree (Owner – @CFCParee) and Danny (Writer – @danny_new_) gave their thoughts of our comfortable 5-1 victory against Chesterfield against Spurs. They also look ahead to the game against Spurs on Wednesday, as well as giving their thoughts on a potential formation change and the current wingback situation.
Every season, the FA Cup conjures up some of the biggest mismatches possible within the English football pyramid. Last season’s campaign saw Chelsea defeat lower league opposition three times on route to the final, before being stopped by Leicester City in the final. The third round of this season’s competition provides a totally different match up for the champions of Europe, as they host National League leaders Chesterfield at Stamford Bridge.
Chesterfield primarily operate in different variants of a 3-4-3 formation, with manager James Rowe switching between two number 10’s behind top scorer Kabongo Tshimanga, or just one, with another striker in the side. Tshimanga has lit up the National League this season, scoring 18 goals in 20 league matches this season. The 24-year-old has been the subject of interest for Football League clubs, after joining Chesterfield for a reported record transfer fee in the summer.
Wing backs Jeff King and Calvin Miller will look to provide attacking threat for the Spireites, with the pair impressing since signing in the summer. With Chelsea stretched in the wide areas due to injuries to Ben Chilwell and Reece James, this may be Chesterfield’s biggest opportunity to cause a major FA Cup shock. Youngsters Xavier Simons and Lewis Hall are in line for a start, so will be given the task of dealing with two of the National League outfit’s biggest weapons.
After returning to the team against Tottenham on Wednesday, striker Romelu Lukaku may keep his place in the side, with Thomas Tuchel looking to get his £100m man firing again. If so, he will likely be in a direct battle with Gavin Gunning, who captains the side and is a guaranteed starter when fit. Gunning spent a period side-lined due to injury, with Jamie Grimes coming in in his place. A more likely starter for Chelsea would be Jude Soonsup-Bell, who has recently started in attack in the League Cup game against Brentford, with the 17-year-old shining for the Blues’ youth sides.
I expect Chelsea to start with Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek in midfield, with Barkley in particular struggling for game time in bigger fixtures. Loftus-Cheek made a cameo appearance against Tottenham, as he continues to build back up to full fitness, so may be given a start against Chesterfield. The away side have a few options in the centre of the pitch, but veteran Curtis Weston and Manny Oyeleke are probably the most likely to start at the Bridge. Weston remains the youngest player to appear in an FA Cup final, for Millwall in 2004, and Oyeleke is a former Chelsea academy player, being released at 14.
As the champions of Europe, currently sitting second in the Premier League, Chelsea will go into this match as massive favourites, but whoever Tuchel picks for in his starting 11 will not have a comfortable game on their hands. Chesterfield will be chomping at the bit from minute one, as for many of the players, this will be the biggest match of their careers. Chelsea will have a technical advantage, as well as superior fitness levels, but the club from Derbyshire will look to frustrate and disrupt the rhythm of Chelsea, with strong challenges and intense pressing. All the signs point towards a home win, but Chesterfield will not lie down for the Champions League winners, making this one of the most intriguing ties of the FA Cup third round.
Predicted Chelsea line up: Marcus Bettinelli; Cesar Azpilicueta, Xavier Mbuyamba, Malang Sarr; Xavier Simons, Ross Barkley, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Lewis Hall; Harvey Vale, Jude Soonsup-Bell, Callum Hudson-Odoi (3-4-3)
Predicted Chesterfield line up: Scott Loach; Fraser Kerr, Gavin Gunning, Alex Whittle; Jeff King, Manny Oyeleke, Curtis Weston, Calvin Miller; Saidou Khan, Liam Mandeville; Kabongo Tshimanga (3-4-2-1)
In our latest episode of The Chelsea Spot Podcast, Paree (Owner – @CFCParee) , Orlando (Host – @0rland1nho) & Sairam (Writer- @ftblSairam) gave their thoughts after Chelsea beat Brentford to go through to the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup! The boys were absolutely delighted due to Jude Soonsup-Bell, Harvey Vale and Xavier Simons all making their first team debuts after starting, and also praised the performances of Chalobah and Saul.
Chelsea vs Brentford in the Carabao Cup Quarter Finals – both squads fully depleted due to injuries and COVID – most would ask: “who cares?”. I can tell you right now, I definitely care, a lot of people at The Chelsea Spot care, but most importantly the academy players and staff care.
As revealed by ourselves in the last two days on our Twitter page, many academy boys have joined the first team training, with Monday’s sessions including most of the 23s, and Tuesday’s late night session involving Charlie Webster & Jude Soonsup-Bell too (Trevoh Chalobah joined as well).
Understandably, a lot of the fanbase won’t know who half of these names are and there isn’t any shame in that either! So, in this article, I will go through each player who has BEEN PICTURED training in the last two days, and discuss their style of play as well as their chances of making the squad tomorrow (will give a rating out of 10 considering there are 5 spots available).
Josh is a RCB (in our setup). This season he’s looked pretty good, with his positional awareness and pace being of real use at RCB to cover any last-man tackles and also his incredible overlapping ability. Many may have seen him get a red card against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge, and even though it was a dangerous tackle, he was actually having an impressive game beforehand and it was nice to see some tenacity. 4/10 chance of making the squad imo.
Alfie also a RCB. Unfortunately overhyped by a Chelsea scout in the media recently being compared to John Terry, he still has had an impressive season so far. Last season he was a big player for the U18s and showed his leadership qualities, getting some minutes towards the U23s at the end of the season and this season has managed to captain the FA Youth Cup side and also play a few more U23s game. 5/10 chance of making the squad imo.
Dion’s a RWB/RW. Blistering pace, incredible skills and loves a nutmeg. He was kind of inconsistent last season, but he was also chucked around at LWB and couldn’t really settle in a position, so he certainly has an excuse. This season he’s improved with that heavily and is a constant outlet for our team to get in behind. Unfortunately, if Reece and Azpilicueta travel, I’m not sure he’s got much chance of making it, but we’ll have to see. 3/10 imo.
Midfielder. If you don’t know about Xavier…then he’s certainly had an interesting story. Moving from Brentford a of couple years ago when they decided to switch from the academy to the B team, he looked a promising player at the time and built a wonderful midfield partnership with Lewis Bate. However, luck wasn’t on his side as he injured his knee and required surgery, and not long after that required surgery in the other knee too! In what would have been a hard place to be mentally, he has come back very strong and become a real leader in this squad – with his qualities still being shown constantly. 5/10 imo.
Midfielder/LWB. Been one of our best performers in the academy this season, which is incredibly impressive. Last season featuring for our U18s, he has made the huge jump into the 23s this season and has played with such ease. Originally a midfielder, his driving runs forward have been amazing to watch with his strength and passing being a key part of his game, except this season he’s played more at LWB and has looked brilliant there too. You know how Reece comes into midfield from the RWB role for Chelsea and just shrugs everyone off? Yeah, Lewis does a pretty similar job for our 23s. 7/10 chance of making the squad.
Striker. Jay’s an interesting one. He moved from Woking in the Summer to Chelsea, and was always going to find it a proper challenge with Bryan Fiabema and Jude Soonsup-Bell ahead of him. However, he has taken on the challenge really well and whenever got minutes normally found the back of the net. His movement is very impressive, he works hard for the team, and surprisingly despite his height he wins a lot of headers too. If Jude hadn’t returned to training today I would’ve backed him to be in the squad, so I’ll say a 6/10.
Attacker. Joe’s that attacking midfielder who just glides with the ball and is a proper joy to watch when he’s on the pitch. As I’ve said before, me and a couple of guys who watch the academy regularly really like to compare his style of play to Joe Cole. Unfortunately for him, the wide attackers are probably going to be pretty stacked with Ziyech, Pulisic, Mount and someone else (who I’ll come onto later) being ahead of him, but in terms of football ability he definitely could be there. 4/10.
Attacker/LWB. If Harvey isn’t in the squad, I would be extremely shocked and disappointed. He has trained with the first team already this season and made the bench, when he probably should’ve come on the pitch anyway in the Carabao Cup RO16. He’s been our best player this season in the academy, with him enjoying the wide forward role with his sweet left foot, and him playing at LWB last season also increases his chances of playing tomorrow. I genuinely think we could see him start. 9/10 chance of making the squad, and a 6/10 chance of starting tomorrow.
Striker. I’m not going into JSB too much, because we’ve done a whole podcast on him with his brother Zac which you can listen to for free! Just click on the hyperlink before, or the Spotify player down below. With no first team striker being available, I also think he has a pretty good chance of making the squad tomorrow. 7/10 chance of making the squad.
Midfielder. I don’t think there’s any harm in saying Charlie has struggled at times throughout this season for the 23s and has hence played a few more games for the 18s, but then again his performances in the UEFA Youth League have been brilliant and he does also have the likes of George McEachran, Lewis Baker and Xavier Simons ahead of him in the Development Squad which does make life harder for him.
Despite that, the potential is so so clear to see and I don’t think many would disagree by saying he is the most “talented” player in this whole article! His body feints are truly wonderful and is on a very similar level to what we see from Mateo Kovacic on a weekly basis, so I’ve got no doubt Tuchel would have loved him in training today. I think due to his raw talent and a couple midfielders being out he’s definitely got a decent chance of making the squad tomorrow, but it also depends on whether Tuchel prefers someone who he’s seen on both days…I’ll go with a 5/10.
Midfielder. To finish off, we have George. He was a big part of Jody Morris’ midfield back in the day, as he normally had Billy Gilmour and Conor Gallagher infront of him, while George acted as the ‘regista’ and would concentrate on keeping the ball moving about. He’s had experience out on loan which may give him the nod over others for Tuchel, but I’m going to give his chance of making the squad a 5/10 too, so then it’s equally likely for Thomas to choose one of George/Xavier/Charlie 😇.
Maybe there are less than 5 spots available, in which it makes the cut even tougher. There could even be more for all we know! What we do know though, is that the Chelsea boys would’ve loved training with the first team today and would’ve strived on the opportunity which was given to them, and hopefully a couple do the same tomorrow night and make a name for themselves for the right reasons.
In our latest episode of The Chelsea Spot Podcast, Paree (Owner – @CFCParee) , Orlando (Host – @0rland1nho) & Rob (Admin – @CFCRobL) gave thoughts after Chelsea’s disappointing draw with Everton. The boys discussed the big missed chances, Tuchel’s poor in game management, the terrible bench, Chalobah’s importance to the team, Loftus-Cheek’s recent performances and so much more!
We are so so so sorry for the 7 week 8 week break… but we’re back! In our latest episode of The Chelsea Spot Podcast, Paree (Owner – @CFCParee) & Orlando (Admin – @0rland1nho) gave their instant reactions to Chelsea’s 3-3 draw with Zenit in the Champions League. They also discussed Rudiger’s contract situation, Levi Colwill’s future at the club, the front three dilemma, calling back Maatsen in January, as well as previewing this weekend’s game against Leeds and the FA Youth Cup fixture against Leyton Orient!
In another episode of The Chelsea Spot Podcast, Dan (Host – @DanBarkerCoach) is joined by Paree (Owner- @CFCParee) & Danny (Writer – @danny_new_) to discuss Chelsea’s 7-0 incredible victory against Norwich with a Mason Mount man of the match performance, Hudson-Odoi and Reece James goal, Chilwell screamer, Loftus-Cheek assist and so much more on a great day for Cobham!
Chelsea are back under the Stamford Bridge lights for their 3rd Champions League night of the season. Mixed fortunes have come to the Blues with one win and one loss in the campaign thus far. A 1-0 victory over Zenit, and a 1-0 defeat to Juventus leave Chelsea currently 2nd in Group H. The reigning champions need to secure three points tonight to boost their chances of topping the group. Eyes will also be fixated on the Gazprom Arena in St Petersburg with group toppers Juventus away to the Russian giants.
Swedish side Malmo stand in Chelsea’s way this evening, with the visitors looking to secure not only their first points of the campaign, but also their first goal. Malmo have the joint worst goal difference with -7, level with Besiktas who have played one more game than the Allsvenskan league leaders. Chelsea last faced Malmo in their 2018/19 Europa League winning season, breezing past the Swedish side 5-1 across both legs. Thomas Tuchel will look to ensure theses fortunes can be repeated this evening.
The current holders are back to winning ways, securing victory in their last two games. Before that, however, Chelsea lost two consecutive games for just the second time under Tuchel, but the Blues will put that deep in their rear view mirrors, and look ahead to tonight’s game. Despite the pride of London being clear favourites, there is still a vastly important task ahead, and Chelsea need a convincing victory to pressurise the group leaders.
Team news and updates:
Chelsea team news is pretty straight forward for this evening, with Tuchel revealing that Christian Pulisic is the only absentee from the squad. As frustrating as it is to see Pulisic still not back to fitness, it is however a refreshing sight to see everyone else available for the clash.
Reece James was the media man ahead of the Champions League fixture, with the right back claiming tonight is a good opportunity to start rebuilding some momentum.
‘Tomorrow is a Champions League game, and the Champions League is a tough competition in football. Anything can happen, so we still need to prepare right. It’s not going to be an easy game, they’re a good side. Hopefully we can get the win and start building momentum.’
Reece James via chelseafc.com
It is also great news to know that Antonio Rudiger is back from injury, as the German centre half has proved to be pivotal for Chelsea since Thomas Tuchel’s arrival at Stamford Bridge.
James, Christensen, Rudiger, Chilwell
Loftus-Cheek, Kante, Jorginho
Hudson-Odoi, Lukaku, Werner
I’ve gone for a four at the back for this tie as I expect Tuchel will want to give players like Chalobah, Sarr and Azpilicueta a rest after a stellar job against Brentford on Saturday. Loftus Cheek keeps his place as I believe he has been the standout of the last few weeks, with electric performances every time he has been called upon. Hudson Odoi gets in the side for me as I think this is the perfect game to put him in and try and improve his confidence. This also goes for Werner, who has been in good form recently.
Players to watch:
Ruben Loftus Cheek: As aforementioned, RLC has been nothing short of phenomenal since his return to the Bridge this season. Ruben is showing glimpses of his sheer quality that us Chelsea fans know he possesses, and is showing no signs of slowing down. A start against Malmo tonight could be perfect for the Englishman who could seriously run the show tonight.
Antonio Colak: Malmo’s number 9 has put up some serious numbers in his respective league this season, with 11 goals and four assists to his name. Malmo will hope that Colak can provide a threat to Chelsea’s defence this evening, but the Croatian will have to produce something special to beat the inform Edouard Mendy, who put up a display for the ages on Saturday against Brentford.
The reigning Champions of Europe are back in action in Europe’s biggest competition. Off-pace Juventus stand in their way, as an away night in Turin awaits the Blues. Chelsea’s last UCL outing saw the defending champions see off a fierce Zenit side who were unbeaten since March. Zenit’s press was no match for a solid defence, and Romelu Lukaku’s 69th minute header gave the Blues the all important three points. Tonight’s opponents rattled Malmo FF by three goals to nil, with ex-Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata on the score sheet.
Chelsea’s former number 9 will be unavailable for tonight’s fixture due to a muscle injury. Juve’s other main threat Paulo Dybala will also miss the fixture, suffering a thigh injury after putting his side 1-0 up against Sampdoria. This will limit Juve’s attacking threat, with the side already struggling in the league since losing Cristiano Ronaldo this summer. The Italian side currently sit 8th in Serie A, despite winning their last two games.
Chelsea, on the other hand, are sitting pretty in 3rd in the Premier League, despite their first loss of the season on Saturday against Manchester City. Thomas Tuchel will hope his side can bounce back from a lacklustre showing at the weekend. Chelsea were dramatically off the pace against City, with little to no attacking threat which gave Ederson the day off. Chelsea’s last outing against Juventus saw the Italian side run out 3-0 victors in November of 2012. Hopefully Chelsea can provide a better defence of their trophy this time around.
Team news and updates:
Chelsea’s squad is being struck with injuries and illnesses across the board, with Reece James, Mason Mount, Christian Pulisic and N’Golo Kante all ruled out of action for this evening. Reece was substituted in the first half against City, with Tuchel stating “[It] will come down to pain management”, revealing we could miss James for another week. Last year’s Player of the Season Mason Mount is still nursing the knock he suffered against Villa in the Carabao Cup.
N’Golo has tested positive for Covid, which will impact the squad heavily, as we saw just how pivotal NG was in the UCL last season. Kante’s absence could provide a huge opportunity for Ruben Loftus Cheek, who’s cameo on Saturday was 76 minutes too short, with the Englishman giving Chelsea the bright spark they were seeking against City.
‘Obviously, tactically they are really strong. They know how to defend their box because they are very organised, Juventus is a big club and they’ve been there for many years.
‘We need to try to break them with speed, energy, and we know it’s going to be difficult. We respect them, but we’re going there to win.’
Jorginho on how to approach the game against Juventus via Chelseafc.com
Christensen, Silva, Rudiger
Azpilicueta (C), Jorginho, Kovacic, Alonso
Ziyech, Lukaku, Havertz
Lukaku will be required to force Juventus mistakes, and will hopefully provide more of an attacking threat, as Chelsea failed to register a shot on target on Saturday for the first time since 2019. RL worked well with Werner, but City’s defence had everything covered. This time around we see the big man alongside Havertz and Ziyech so it will be interesting to see how that pans out.
Players to watch:
Ruben Loftus Cheek: Even though Ruben doesn’t make start, I do still think he will see a cameo from him in some shape or form, and I for one am extremely excited about that. RLC completely upped our tempo on Saturday, and despite the loss, looked like he improved the side drastically. With Kante being unavailable and Saul struggling to take off in blue, I think this could be Ruben’s time to shine.
Manuel Locatelli: Locatelli scored against Sampdoria at the weekend, and will be looking to continue this form against Chelsea. Since his move to Turin, the World Cup winner has looked impressive in parts, but can still go up a level. He will be hoping he can do it this evening against the reigning European Champions.