Date: 17th April 2021 at 10:28am
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Although Chelsea bounced back from that dismal West Brom 5-2 drubbing with a 4-1 victory at Crystal Palace’s Selhurst Park, they did falter at home to Porto in the midweek Champions League tie. 

The Blues lost 1-0 – but without consequence, thanks to a 2-0 first-leg lead – and will need a better result and performance if they are to topple Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City at Wembley, on Saturday.

The Cityzens are 11 points clear at the top of the Premier League and have just dispatched Borussia Dortmund and Erling Haaland 4-2 on aggregate in the Champions League quarter-final tie of their own.

The prize couldn’t be any more obvious, though, with the two sides playing for a place at this year’s FA Cup final – which could even see 21,000 fans inside the stadium – against either Southampton or Leicester City.

Chelsea will be without Mateo Kovacic after the midfielder picked up a hamstring injury in training, which also saw him miss the European tie with Porto.

Man City look set to be reduced only by Sergio Aguero, with a return for Aymeric Laporte imminent.

With this in mind, here’s who Thomas Tuchel could select to see off quadruple-chasers Man City at Wembley…

Goalkeeper 

Edouard Mendy has kept an impressive 10 clean sheets in 15 games and the Senegal international will keep his place, with there being nothing he could do about Mehdi Taremi’s overhead screamer that he conceded midweek. That was only the second shot on target he faced that game, though, with the expectancy that he could be called into action on a much more regular occasion. As it’s an FA Cup tie, Kepa Arrizabalaga could be recalled.

Edouard Mendy has racked up clean sheets with Chelsea following his summer move, although Kepa could be offered an FA Cup return

Defenders 

Captain Cesar Azpilicueta is a mainstay in Tuchel’s side, while it’s likely that experienced head Thiago Silva will keep his place from midweek – as too will Antonio Rudiger. This would be a completely unchanged defence from the midweek test, with Kurt Zouma also knocking at the door after scoring against Palace. A likely change could be Zouma or Dane Andreas Christensen in for the ageing Brazilian, with Chelsea losing both of his last two starts.

31-year-old captain Cesar Azpilicueta is still a stalwart in the Chelsea defence

Midfielders 

It looks like it could be another unchanged section of the team, but for one piece of rotation. Reece James will operate again in right-wing-back, with N’Golo Kante and Jorginho set to link up in midfield again amid Kovacic’s absence. However, Ben Chilwell could be in line for a rest with a crunch Champions League chase to come, with Marcos Alonso instead asked to both defend and attack the left flank.

Marcos Alonso could replace Ben Chilwell with the Englishman potentially offered a rest

Forwards

Chelsea do have a plethora of attacking options to pick from, with Mason Mount likely the first name on the team sheet – he will operate on either flank of the central attacker, Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech getting himself a cup start. Kai Havertz will be disappointed to miss out, operating as the central striker as of late, but having played three consecutive games in a week, he may be offered a rest.

Summer signing Hakim Ziyech could be handed a chance to impress on the biggest stage in England, despite hot-form of Christian Pulisic and Kai Havertz

Kick-off: Saturday 17th April, 5:30pm, at Wembley Stadium

 
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