Chelsea assistant Arno Michels tells BBC Sport that Thomas Tuchel picked the team for today’s game before his positive test yesterday, with the German to stay in contact with his staff throughout.
On Tuchel’s Club World Cup chances, Michels noted: “We will see what happens in the coming days.”
A big atmosphere building in the away end…
Some 6,000 fans backing the boys in green today!
Plymouth midfielder recalls Chelsea days
Jordan Houghton can still remember the time Frank Lampard literally left his mark on him — sending a message to the one-time Chelsea starlet.
And he believes the Stamford Bridge great also left a lasting imprint on the club in just 18 months as manager before he was sacked last year, as he told Standard Sport before the match.
The Plymouth Argyle midfielder believes his own career may have turned out differently had Lampard been in charge when he was making his own way through Chelsea’s academy.
Read the full story.
Quiet January for the Blues
Thomas Tuchel insists he never held talks with Ousmane Dembele over a January transfer to Chelsea – and is convinced Kenedy can fill the void left by the injured Ben Chilwell.
Chelsea were aware of Dembele’s availability from Barcelona last month and have monitored his situation at the Camp Nou, with Tuchel a long-time admirer.
But the European champions’ priority in January was to cover the absence of Chilwell, who has been ruled out for the rest of the season with anterior cruciate ligament damage.
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Kenedy could feature today for Chelsea after the Blues failed to bring in a new wing-back amid injuries to Reece James and Ben Chilwell.
Thomas Tuchel said ahead of the game: “He was good in pre-season, decided he wanted to go back to Brazil. But having Kenny and Emerson on loan, Kenny was possible and now he is here.
“He is a very nice guy, very talented, and let’s see where he is. It’s a huge opportunity and I am very happy to give it to him and help him make the best of it.
“If we play with a wing-back, it’s a perfect role for him given his profile as a player. He has a strong left foot, strong in possession, can shoot and cross very precisely. That’s more or less it.”
Plymouth make three changes and will set up in a 3-5-2 formation.
Danny Mayor, Panutche Camara and Jordon Garrick all start for the visitors from League One.
That is a very decent line-up from the Blues…
Just one change as Andreas Christensen replaces Thiago Silva in defence with the 4-3-3 once again selected by Thomas Tuchel.
Here’s your Chelsea line-up…
Chelsea XI: Kepa; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Christensen, Sarr; Mount, Kovacic, Jorginho; Ziyech, Lukaku, Hudson-Odoi.
Subs: Bettinelli, Sharman-Love, Alonso, Kenedy, Chalobah, Saul, Barkley, Havertz, Werner.