Callum Hudson-Odoi (No. 20) Right wingback, England
Callum Hudson-Odoi has been rotated healthily since starting his first game for Tuchel. His defensive contributions, as well as defensive awareness, have improved. It is not surprising at all that he has started more games for Tuchel at right wingback than Reece James. Hudson-Odoi did a superb job of keeping Felix quiet in the away leg. He may need to do more defending than attacking in this match though, so he should prepare for that.
N’Golo Kante (No. 7) Central midfielder, France
Tuchel has found a way to maximize Kante’s contributions to the side, while shielding him from the possibility of re-injury. Kante played against Liverpool and Manchester United and on both occasions, recorded the most defensive actions for the Blues. His inclusion will be most appropriate in this game because Chelsea needs a clean sheet more than anything. Kante is the most defensively aware player at the club and he can help accomplish that objective. Kante’s passing will come in handy as well. He’s no Silva passing-wise, but he’s more than comfortable in that department. Completing 100 percent of his six attempted long balls, including a superb assist to Mason Mount, for the goal against Liverpool at Anfield.
Mateo Kovacic (No. 17) Central midfielder, Croatia
Mateo Kovacic has been very impressive under Tuchel since the new manager arrived. The Croatian will help the Blues in beating the press that they’ll inevitably face because Simeone is going to be chasing the game. Kovacic has also been very effective with his through balls to attacking runners. His passing ability also goes unnoticed amongst the fans. He has been criticized for his lack of direct goal involvement, a silly criticism though as he is contributing to games for Chelsea the best way he can.
Marcos Alonso (No. 3) Left wingback, Spain
Marcos Alonso played against Atletico Madrid in the reverse leg and played well. He also had some not-so-comfortable moments early on in the game, but he grew into it well. Not only did he play well, but he also played a key role in the goal that was scored by Olivier Giroud. His movement in the final third isn’t spoken about enough. His communication with his same side attacking midfielder is very good, making himself a constant problem for opponents.