Billy Gilmour (No. 23) Defensive midfielder, Scotland
Many expected Billy Gilmour to start against Fulham, but it’s understandable that he didn’t. Fulham is a very physical team and while Chelsea may have the upper hand technically, it was only a matter of time before the Cottagers’ physical advantage became a factor. Gilmour has earned a start though, whether a start against Leicester is the one is yet to be seen. The tiny Scotsman has held his own in the few matches he’s been given minutes. It would be interesting to see how he does against a much more physically dominant defensive midfielder like Wilfred Ndidi.
Mason Mount (No. 19) Central midfielder, England
Mason Mount has been Chelsea’s best player this season. He does it all, literally. He has been the Blues’ go-to man for chance creation in the absence of Hakim Ziyech, and even in his presence too sometimes. The young Englishman has worked hard and shown why he deserves to get starts ahead of new arrivals. His off-the-ball contribution is as good as his contribution on the ball. He has been criticized by many who have either refused to watch him or who just don’t understand football—Mount has deserved every minute he’s played this season.
Kai Havertz (No. 29) Central midfielder, Germany
Kai Havertz was given a run out against League Two side Morecambe recently, along with some other new arrivals to build their confidence and allow them some time on the pitch together. It seemed to work. Havertz played well against Morecambe, though his performance should be put in context, but a good performance is a good performance. He has looked slightly better when he has gotten time off the bench in the past few weeks, and he may be ready to return to the starting line-up. A lot of this match will be played in the midfield and Havertz will have to do his part to make sure that Chelsea doesn’t get dominated in the middle of the park.