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How Chelsea could line up against Malmo

How Chelsea could line up against Malmo

European champions Chelsea sit second in Champions League Group H, behind Juventus, and look to complete the double over bottom club Malmo on Tuesday as they edge towards a place in the last 16.

The Premier League leaders have some ongoing injury problems to contend with, however, and head coach Thomas Tuchel will have to manage his plentiful resources thoughtfully with another league game to come on Saturday, before the next international break.

Both Romelu Lukaku (ankle) and Timo Werner (thigh) have not played since being injured against Malmo in the reverse fixture earlier this month, and neither is expected to be involved at the Eleda Stadion.

Fellow forward Christian Pulisic has been sidelined since early September due to an ankle injury picked up on international duty, with setbacks to his recovery also ruling the former Borussia Dortmund winger out. Therefore, Hakim Ziyech should continue as one of two support strikers.

Not only does Tuchel have a significant chunk of his first-choice front line missing for the trip to Sweden, but midfielder Mateo Kovacic was recently ruled out for several weeks after suffering a hamstring injury in training.

Furthermore, one-man engine room N’Golo Kante – who was previously blighted by an ankle injury, then illness, and most recently a muscular problem – started on Saturday but may not be risked again in such short order.

Despite their list of absences, Chelsea’s 26 league goals this season have been scored by 15 different players, and a front line featuring Kai Havertz at its apex should provide plenty of problems for Malmo’s leaky defence to resolve.

At the other end, Edouard Mendy kept nine clean sheets in 12 Champions League matches last season, the most ever achieved by a goalkeeper featuring for an English side, and has added another two this term. The Senegalese stopper should start ahead of Kepa Arrizabalaga on Tuesday, behind a familiar 3-4-2-1 formation.

Chelsea possible starting lineup: Mendy; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Chalobah; James, Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek, Alonso; Mount, Ziyech; Havertz

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