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How Chelsea could line up against Dinamo Zagreb

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Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel will be considering making several changes for his side’s trip to Croatia as they prepare to face Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League on Tuesday.

With a short turnaround between Saturday’s dramatic comeback to beat West Ham United 2-1 at Stamford Bridge and Tuesday’s opening match of their 2022-23 European campaign, as well as a difficult looking west London derby away to Fulham next weekend, it would only be natural if the German decides to utilise his deep squad and elect to rotate.

That policy could begin in goal, with Kepa Arrizabalaga set for his first outing of the season in order to allow Edouard Mendy a breather between the posts.

In front of the Spaniard, Trevor Chalobah and Cesar Azpilicueta could replace Wesley Fofana and Reece James on the right side of the Blues’ defence, with Ben Chilwell coming in for Marc Cucurella at left wing-back after scoring a brilliant equaliser against the Hammers at the weekend.

Thiago Silva and Kalidou Koulibaly should keep their places to provide invaluable experience and physicality for a difficult trip to eastern Europe, with Jorginho’s calm head and technical ability likely to be called upon in central midfield.

Given Matteo Kovacic’s recent injury issues, the Croatian may only be called upon from the bench against his former club, with Mason Mount potentially provided with an opportunity in a deeper role after only appearing from the bench last time out.

Kai Havertz made a decisive impact as a substitute by scoring a late winner against West Ham and should start here, with Hakim Ziyech and Armando Broja potentially set to be handed rare starting berths as Raheem Sterling receives a rest after an intense start to his Chelsea career.

N’Golo Kante (hamstring) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (broken jaw) remain sidelined with injuries, but Denis Zakaria could be named among the substitutes depending on whether his work permit issues are sorted in time following his transfer deadline day move from Borussia Monchengladbach on loan.

Chelsea possible starting lineup: Arrizabalaga; Chalobah, Silva, Koulibaly; Azpilicueta, Jorginho, Mount, Chilwell; Ziyech, Havertz; Broja

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