Chelsea expected lineup against Luton Town in the FA Cup
Chelsea take on Luton Town on the road in the FA Cup fifth round on Wednesday night.
The Blues suffered a disappointing Carabao Cup final defeat to Liverpool on Sunday. They were beaten on penalties at Wembley Stadium, but could have won the game in regulation time with the clear-cut chances on offer.
Manager Thomas Tuchel will be eyeing a strong response against Luton at Kenilworth Road. Chelsea are facing the Championship outfit for the second time in as many seasons.
Chelsea previously beat them 3-1 in the fourth round of the competition at Stamford Bridge. There could be wholesale changes to the starting XI for the Blues from the League Cup final.
Here is how Chelsea could line up against Luton:
Goalkeeper: Kepa Arrizabalaga started on the bench for yesterday’s final, but was brought on right before the penalty shoot-out. However, the Spaniard failed to save any of the 11 spot-kicks he faced before missing the decisive penalty. Kepa has been the Blues’ regular Cup goalkeeper, and should be handed the chance to redeem himself against Luton.
Reece James starts
Defence: Tuchel may revert to a back four which he has often done since the turn of the year. Thiago Silva could be rested. The latter has not been part of the last two FA Cup ties for the Blues.
Trevoh Chalobah could partner Antonio Rudiger in central defence with Malang Sarr, who has regularly deputised for Marcos Alonso, starting at left-back.
Cesar Azpilicueta may get a breather, having been almost ever-present in the right-back/ right wing-back role after an injury to Reece James. James has now returned to full fitness after a lengthy setback. The £49.5m-rated star should make his first start since the beginning of the year.
Midfield: Mateo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante are likely to drop to the bench on the back of their heavy work load this month. The duo have played two 120-minute games in their last three appearances for Chelsea. It could be a new-look midfield on Wednesday with Jorginho being accompanied by Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Saul Niguez.
Attack: Similar to the midfield department, there could be a complete reshuffle in the wide attacking roles. Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic could be replaced by Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner respectively.
Mount had a disappointing showing for Chelsea yesterday, squandering two golden scoring opportunities. He could be rested, having just returned from an ankle ligament injury.
Up front, Romelu Lukaku should replace Kai Havertz. Havertz had a couple of goals chalked off for offside yesterday. He could have easily had an assist if not for Mount’s poor finishing. The German now appears as the first-choice striker for the big games, but Lukaku could be handed the chance to prove himself after a positive display off the bench against Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Expected Chelsea line-up vs Luton Town