Chelsea finally beat a big six team and Thomas Tuchel’s 3-4-3 passed the big test. The Blues have played a bottom tier team, a mid table team and a top six team under Tuchel and have conceded no goals, scoring three during that span. The German is still deciding what his best team is, and until he gives everyone a chance, he won’t make a conclusion just yet. Sheffield United sit bottom of the Premier League table, but here’s who we think Tuchel selects to see off Sheffield United:
Edouard Mendy (No. 16) Goalkeeper, Senegal
Edouard Mendy has faced 12 shots, two shots on target and conceded zero goals so far under Tuchel. He has earned three clean sheets, finding his early season form. Mendy has played very well overall for Chelsea. He has calmed the defense and has made sure to neutralize many threats from crosses by collecting them. Kepa Arrizabalaga is now the cup keeper, and if Mendy continues to play this well, Arrizabalaga would be cup keeper for quite a while.
Cesar Azpilicueta (No. 28) Centerback, Spain
Cesar Azpilicueta has been solid and he hasn’t given Tuchel any reason to drop him. The Spaniard has been as solid as he was in the 2016/17 title winning season when Antonio Conte deployed him as a centerback in a back three. He even scored a wonder-goal in the 2-0 Burnley win. Even during Chelsea’s eight-game rot, the two wins came with Azpilicueta on the pitch. His influence on the team cannot be overstated—he epitomizes Chelsea.
Andreas Christensen (No. 4) Centerback, Denmark
Andreas Christensen stepped in when Thiago Silva went down injured against Tottenham. He did enough to secure the clean sheet; his distribution was OK. The Dane also made two interceptions and two clearances. Kurt Zouma may still not be fit and Christensen should be comfortable against Sheffield. The switch to three centerbacks will benefit Christensen as there’ll be less load on him and less space that he’d be responsible for.
Antonio Rudiger (No. 2) Centerback, Germany
Antonio Rudiger has been satisfactory so far under Tuchel. Many fans are bitter towards the German, but he’s getting results on the pitch and that’s all that matters. The Sheffield contest is likely to be more comfortable for the centerback trio than previous games. Rudiger is Chelsea’s tallest starting defender at the moment and should be more of an offensive threat in set pieces. Since Zouma was pulled from the side, the Blues’ chances from set pieces have reduced significantly.