Chelsea travel to Leeds United on Wednesday night with their third-place position on a knife-edge and their third successive FA Cup final to think about.
The Blues failed to get a result in either of their two most recent attempts to win the FA Cup, despite reaching the Wembley final, and they will be looking to rectify that against Liverpool, the team that defeated them in the League Cup final earlier this season.
That game represents the last chance at trophies for Thomas Tuchel’s side this season, so the German head coach may prioritize that over his trip to Elland Road.
He will have to be careful with the rotation though, as Chelsea’s poor run of results has ensured that Arsenal are now just one point behind in fourth place, while Tottenham remain in contention in fifth place, five points behind the Blues.
A win over relegation-threatened Leeds is therefore simply a must.
As a result, Tuchel will not make many changes and injury problems will limit his hand even more.
N’Golo Kante and Jorginho are out, as is Ben Chilwell, while Callum Hudson-Odoi is slowly making his way back into the fold with regular training sessions under his belt.
Marcos Alonso was removed at half time in the draw against Wolves, and reports of a break with Tuchel surfaced. For this reason, Saúl Niguez could be signed to play as a left back, a role he has played on occasion this year.
Thiago Silva will also rest thinking about the Cup final, while César Azpilicueta could stop playing after a series of poor performances.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mateo Kovacic seem like the most likely duo in the middle of the park, but Mason Mount could drop deeper if necessary. Romelu Lukaku’s double last time out could give him a start alongside Kai Havertz.
Chelsea Predicted Starting XI vs Leeds