Chelsea will travel to South Yorkshire to take on Barnsley in the 5th round of the FA Cup.
It’s been a blistering start to life in West London for new Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel who still remains undefeated after his first four games in the dug-out.
Thursday night’s lower league opposition are not likely to threaten this record – but rather offer the German manager an opportunity to explore his newly inherited squad.
Tuchel confirmed in his press conference that multiple changes to the XI are to be expected.
Further stating that N’Golo Kante, Kepa Arrizabalaga, and Hakim Ziyech will start the match.
Kepa will return between the posts for a first opportunity to impress under Tuchel – as well as giving first-choice keeper Edouard Mendy a well-deserved rest.
In defence, further changes are expected with Kurt Zouma expected to return to the back three alongside Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger, as the Blues will be looking to maintain their outstanding defensive record under the new manager.
With Zouma returning from injury, the fixture offers the perfect opportunity for the Frenchman to show Thomas Tuchel his qualities at the back.
Emerson Palmieri and Reece James will occupy the left and right wing-back positions.
Expect Tuchel to stick with a 3-4-2-1 formation. In his three-man defence will see the return of almost forgotten man Kurt Zouma.
He was a Chelsea regular until Frank Lampard dropped him at the beginning of January and has since only played against Morecambe and Luton Town.
Andreas Christensen keeps his place after excelling as Thiago Silva’s understudy. Cesar Azpilicueta is the soul survivor of Tuchel’s favoured back line.