Chelsea face Dinamo Zagreb in their opening Champions League fixture on Tuesday and they are set to hand out their fifth debut of the season.
Chelsea replaced Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku with Barcelona’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on transfer deadline day, and the striker is prepped for his first game in Blue on Tuesday evening.
Dinamo Zagreb will be hosting Thomas Tuchel’s 23-man squad in their opening tie of the group stages, and fans are expecting to see a much-changed line up to what they have seen so far this season.
With Thiago Silva being omitted and debuts to hand out, Tuchel will have some big decisions to make.
Aubameyang was fitted with a temporary protective jaw mask earlier in the week in order to allow him to train again, after sustaining an injury whilst protecting his family from home intruders, and now that he can return to football it’s all about managing his fitness.
Talking in the pre-match press conference on Monday, Tuchel hinted at both Aubameyang and Denis Zakaria getting some first-time minutes.
“He [Aubameyang] had a test with his mask, he felt fine, normal. If everything goes well today, they will both be available,” the German head coach said.
“If there will come an issue today, we will not put him [Aubameyang]. There was no issue yesterday, I hope there will not be today. Is he ready to start? Of course, but he cannot play 90 minutes. We will need to manage minutes.”
As the Blues enter one of the busiest run-ins of the season, they will need all hands on deck if they want their shot at silverware this year.