Reece James (No. 24) Right wing back, England
James made the most defensive actions against Porto, which is impressive. He was alert defensively. He made six clearances, one interception and four tackles, more tackles than any other player. His performance was a definite improvement on the West Brom showing as he didn’t take many risks and made the right decisions in defensive situations. He may not start against Crystal Palace because of fitness, but based on performance, he should.
N’Golo Kante (No. 7) Central midfielder, France
Kante didn’t start against Crystal Palace perhaps due to fitness. Tuchel has had to manage Kante’s minutes since he arrived. Kante has played superbly in almost every game he has played for Tuchel. He’s one of three central midfielders in rotation that Tuchel selects. Chelsea has played a lot of games lately and one of Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic needs a rest. Jorginho did not play well against West Brom but he played well against Porto. Contrary to what people think, he has played generally well under Tuchel. Kante should start this game though.
Mateo Kovacic (No. 17) Central midfielder, Croatia
Kovacic has equally been very good under Tuchel. Unfortunately he too was really poor against West Brom. He played much better against Porto in the Champions League though. He has been put in a system that has allowed him to focus on his strengths and it’s showing. He has helped with recycling of possession with his passing and breaking the opposition press with his dribbling. He had the most shot-creating actions against Porto, which is impressive.
Ben Chilwell (No. 21) Left wing back, England
Chilwell topped off a very good performance with a goal, making the second most defensive actions on the night. Both fullbacks led the team in defensive actions, showing that the team did more defending than attacking. They did enough attacking to win the game by two goals, but that was only because they were superb defensively.