Reece James (No. 24) Right wingback, England
While Callum Hudson-Odoi did extremely well in the first couple of games as a wingback, James truly made his mark as a wingback in the past couple. He has been brilliant on the ball and has provided a number of chances up front. Playing as a wingback, James has been able to push forward with Azpilicueta behind him. He has linked up really well with Azpilicueta, as they have been able to penetrate defences regularly down the right wing. Another thing that has often gone unnoticed this season is the ball control that James possesses. He seems to have a magnet on his shoulders! Expect James to put in another commanding performance against Newcastle with an assist or a goal coming.
Jorginho (No. 5) Central midfielder, Italy
Jorginho has been quite consistent under Tuchel. He has also scored a couple of penalties and has mixed things up with his penalty technique. The Italian has been able to maintain possession for the Blues and has settled in with Mateo Kovacic at the base of midfield. However, what is worrying is the fact that Jorginho continues to be exposed against high pressing sides. Sheffield United had him on a couple of occasions and pressed him extremely well. Tuchel needs to work out something so that Chelsea can play to Jorginho’s strengths against high pressing sides. Expect Jorginho to start against Newcastle and dictate the pace of the game.
Mateo Kovacic (No. 17) Central midfielder, Croatia
Kovacic has also been one of the best performers under Tuchel. He has been the constant link between the forwards and defenders and has done extremely well in pressure situations. The Croatian has shown composure on the ball and has managed to wriggle himself out of tight situations regularly. His presence is extremely important for Chelsea against physical teams that press as he knows how to beat the press effectively. Expect Kovacic to put in another tidy shift against Newcastle.
Marcos Alonso (No. 3) Left wingback, Spain
Marcos Alonso is another player that has benefitted from the managerial change. Tuchel has used a three-at-back system till now with overlapping wingbacks. Alonso played the best football of his career under Antonio Conte as a wingback and Tuchel seems to understand that. This is the reason why Tuchel has deployed Alonso more instead of Ben Chilwell as a wingback. Alonso should start against Newcastle and see plenty as the ball as Chelsea look to get back into the top four with a win.