Chelsea kick off their Champions League campaign this week with an away trip to the Stadion Maksimir to take on Dinamo Zagreb.
The Blues go into this game at the back of a 2-1 win over West Ham United but there will be a lot of nerves because Tuchel’s side are not in the best of forms right now.
This will be the first meeting between these two sides and in fact, this is the very first time that Chelsea will be facing a Croatian opponent.
Dinamo have won just five out of their previous 42 Champions League but they are unbeaten domestically this season.
Chelsea might have made a rocky start to their 22/23 campaign but they are very much the favourites to win in midweek primarily because they have a much superior squad which has the quality to secure all three points without any major stumbles.
Chelsea’s team news and possible rotations:
The manager could ring in some changes to his first XI because this is a relatively easy tie and they also have to play four matches in the span of the next 13 days.
Edouard Mendy should be rested because Thomas Tuchel has Kepa at his disposal. With Thiago Silva dropped for the trip, Trevoh Chalobah should come in the central defence.
Tuchel has admitted that Kepa did not find an ideal destination in the summer which is why he chose to stay but the keeper is very much willing to fight for his place in the side.
He said, as per the club’s official website: “I was always very clear directly with him that I would love him to stay and my point of view is that he’s absolutely ready to play. It’s on us if we give him the chance or not but he’s 100 per cent ready with how he behaves and trains.”
Cucurella and Reece James could both be rested for this away fixture, in which case Ben Chilwell and Azpilicueta should be coming into the side.
The midfield area is a cause of concern for the manager because N’Golo Kante is still out injured while Denis Zakaria’s work permit is still due. Zakaria is likely to feature in the matchday squad.
Jorginho was rested for the West Ham United game so he will be coming into the side.
Thomas Tuchel opted to rest both Kai Havertz and Mason Mount during the weekend but both of them will be returning. We expect to see Mason Mount in midfield while Havertz will join Raheem Sterling up
Aubameyang watched from the stands during the weekend and his participation on Tuesday night will depend on how comfortable he feels wearing his protective mask. He is recovering from a broken jaw and if he can adjust to the facial mask then only will the manager start him up front.
Chelsea predicted line up vs Dinamo Zagreb:
Predicted Starting lineup (3-5-2):
Kepa; Koulibaly, Fofana, Chalobah; Jorginho, Mount, Zakaria/Loftus-Cheek, Chilwell, Azpilicueta; Raheem Sterling, Havertz/Aubameyang.