Chelsea travel to face Leeds at Elland Road tonight needing a win to help get the club’s form heading back in the right direction.
A last-gasp header from Conor Coady gave Wolves a 2-2 at Stamford Bridge over the weekend, as Chelsea threw away a two-goal lead. Thomas Tuchel have won just two of their last seven Premier League matches.
With Arsenal just a point behind the Blues and Tottenham four points further back, a top-four finish is not yet a certainty for Chelsea. With an FA Cup final to come on Saturday, a positive performance and result tonight would come at an ideal time.
They face a Leeds side though who are desperately in need of points themselves. Leeds sit in the relegation zone with three matches to go and it is sure to be an incredible atmosphere in front of their home fans.
With James Robson at Elland Road and kick-off at 7:30pm BST, follow all the action with Standard Sport’s LIVE blog below…
Lukaku does keep his place for Chelsea, with Mount and Pulisic starting alongside him. That means Werner and Havertz have to settle for places on the bench.
Jorginho returns in midfield but there is no Kante, while Christensen and Chalobah start over Azpilicueta and Silva.
For Leeds, they make four changes from the side that were beaten by Arsenal.
Cooper, Struijk, Bate and Rodrigo the players to come in to start. Plenty of pace and attacking talent in their forward line tonight.
Starting XI: Meslier, Llorente, Cooper, Koch, Struijk, Bate, Phillips, Raphinha, Rodrigo, Harrison, James
Subs: Klaesson, Greenwood, Cresswell, Firpo, Klich, Hjelde, Gray, Shackleton, Gelhardt
Starting XI: Mendy; Christensen, Chalobah, Rudiger; James, Jorginho, Kovacic, Alonso; Mount, Lukaku, Pulisic.
Subs: Kepa, Azpilicueta, Silva, Sarr, Barkley, Loftus-Cheek, Ziyech, Havertz, Werner
Tuchel: Things are solved with Alonso
Thomas Tuchel insists he has cleared the air with Marcos Alonso after the Chelsea pair were involved in an exchange on Saturday.
The manager also denied claims the row had carried on into the dressing room at half-time, after Tuchel was visibly upset with Alonso during Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Wolves.
The wing-back was then substituted for Saul Niguez at the break. But despite allegations of a further bust-up, Tuchel insists the issue was cleared up immediately.
The German said: “It started and ended in the first half. [It] was not continued at half-time. Nothing else. Things are solved. That happens.”
Team news coming up in 20 minutes.
Leeds with a whole host of players out – particularly short in defence after Ayling’s recent red card.
Plenty of decisions to make for Tuchel… does he go full strength or potentially have an eye on the FA Cup final? We’ll soon find out.
Leeds need the points…
Important night for Chelsea, but an even bigger one for Leeds.
Three games to go and they sit in the relegation zone, level on points with Burnley but with a much worse goal difference. Both sides are a point behind Everton in 16th, but the Toffees have a game in hand.
Burnley have Tottenham, Aston Villa and Newcastle still to play. Leeds will face Chelsea, Brighton and Brentford. Everton are up against Watford, Brentford, Crystal Palace and Arsenal.
Increasingly looks like a straight battle between Leeds and Burnley.
Big night for Chelsea…
With just two wins in their last seven Premier League matches, it’s so important Chelsea find a way to end their stumbling run.
Victory tonight would bring some much needed positivity back, and ensure they don’t really slip into a battle for a top-four place.
And of course there’s an FA Cup final to come this weekend – going into that off the back of another disappointing display is not what Thomas Tuchel will want.
Meeting the Boehlys
At first glance, Todd Boehly does not look like a billionaire. So, it is understandable that the American businessman, philanthropist and — as of this week — new owner of Chelsea FC went unnoticed by some of the fans he sat among in the lower west stand of Stamford Bridge three weeks ago.
On his visits to London over the past three months, the 46-year-old father-of-three has wandered around virtually anonymously, dressed in baggy hoodies, long-sleeved Henley T-shirts, chinos and jeans.
A baseball cap has kept his shaggy mop of hair under control and a dad-style anorak has kept out the British springtime chill.
The fluorescent laces worn on just one of his sneakers last Friday night when he signed terms on a £4.25 billion deal to buy Chelsea might have been the only reason for the average passer-by to look twice at the man whose star-studded portfolio ranges from the LA Dodgers baseball team, the LA Lakers basketball team and Bruce Springsteen’s song collection.
Read James Robson’s full look at the US sports mogul right here