Hakim Ziyech (No. 22) Right attacking midfielder, Morocco
Hakim Ziyech has come under a lot of criticism lately. Some criticisms are warranted, but most aren’t. Despite Ziyech making conscious efforts to be less of his Ajax self, and more like what he thinks his managers wants, he is still largely ignored by his teammates. In several instances, Ziyech has made himself available for a pass in transition and has been ignored. He still managed to create the most chances for the Blues against Leeds (3), completing three long balls and one cross.
Many have called him lazy, yet he constantly applies pressure to the opposition’s defenders in games. He applied 17 pressures against Leeds, one less than Mount, despite playing 10 less minutes than the Englishman. He also made the most tackles (2) in the final third. In addition to all of these, he made the most shot-creating actions (6). Ziyech was brought to create chances but he cannot do that if he isn’t trusted. He has still contributed defensively though, and he will get back to form in no time.
Olivier Giroud (No. 18) Striker, France
Olivier Giroud scored against Atletico in the reverse fixture of this tie and is the reason the Blues can go through with just a clean sheet from the return leg. His strength and height will be essential in containing Atletico’s centerbacks. His build-up play means that when done right, could help the Blues break down the defensive wall usually setup by Simeone. His movement in the box is excellent and he has brilliant attacking instincts, which is not surprising as he chases Thierry Henry’s goal record for France. Should Giroud play to the best of his ability, he will be unplayable.
Kai Havertz (No. 29) Left attacking midfielder, Germany
Kai Havertz has started three games under Tuchel and he has played well indeed. He was unlucky not to get a goal against Everton, but he has been doing all the right things and you get the feeling he’s not far away from his next goal for the club. He has started as center forward for Tuchel twice, so that may be where he plays regularly from now on. He has been very effective from there too.
Who would you like to see in the starting XI? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!