Thomas Tuchel confirms two Chelsea stars who will start against Barnsley – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has confirmed two players who are expected to make the starting line-up against Barnsley tomorrow.
The Blues are unbeaten in the past five games in all competitions and four of those have been under Tuchel, who replaced Frank Lampard last month.
Ahead of the game, Tuchel has confirmed that N’Golo Kante will make the starting XI after coming off the bench in the last two matches for the Blues.
The Frenchman has not started a game for the club since January 3 because of a hamstring problem sustained in training.
He has played only 31 minutes off the bench since his comeback. He has the chance to impress tomorrow and reclaim a regular starting role.
“N’Golo will start tomorrow and I am so happy to have him back again – we put him on the pitch against Tottenham and he helped everybody on the pitch, which is what he does,” he told the club’s official website.
Meanwhile, Hakim Ziyech is another player who has struggled for regular game time since the arrival of Tuchel as head coach.
He has not managed a single minute since the 0-0 league draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers at the end of January.
Tuchel is looking forward to the Moroccan taking his chance when the Blues face the Tykes in the FA Cup fifth round tomorrow.
“Hakim is another one who hopefully tomorrow we will see the best of him – he has lots of quality and we count on him like everyone else, no doubt about that,” he added.
The Blues have found momentum since the arrival of Tuchel and they have won three and drawn one of the four games he has been in charge.
They have also been solid in the defence and have conceded just once through a dismal own goal from Antonio Rudiger.
Tuchel is likely to ring in the changes tomorrow, but the backline may remain quite similar with the injury sustained by Thiago Silva.
The Blues will be overwhelming favourites to beat the Tykes, who are on a five-match winless streak in the Championship.
The clubs previously met in the Carabao Cup third round back in September 2020 where the Blues registered a comfortable 6-0 win.
The last FA Cup meeting went in Barnsley’s favour. They shocked the Blues with a 1-0 win at Oakwell in the 2007/08 quarter-final.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com