Thomas Tuchel Explains Team Selection Ahead of Zenit St Petersburg Opener


Thomas Tuchel has delivered his reasoning for his Chelsea team selection to face Zenit St Petersburg in the Champions League on Tuesday evening.

Chelsea XI to face Zenit St Petersburg: Mendy; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger; James, Jorginho, Kovacic, Alonso; Mount; Ziyech, Lukaku

Bench: Kepa, Bergstrom, Silva, Werner, Loftus-Cheek, Chalobah, Saul, Barkley, Hudson-Odoi, Chilwell, Havertz, Sarr

What was said?

On many returning from international duty, Tuchel said: "They were on international duty but now they are all fresh. We had some changes against Aston Villa because some of them came back late and had three (international) games in their legs, so now we have Hakim and Mason together as half-strikers and let’s see, we trust everybody and everybody on the pitch deserves to play.’

"It is not the moment after only two days to put him (Saul) in again. We trust him, it is no problem, but Jorginho is fresh, Kova had a fantastic game against Villa so it was more a decision for these two rather than against Saul. We have some strong guys on the bench and he is one of them."

He added: "The fact we are champions does not change anything. It is always exciting when the music for the Champions League is on and you play under the lights in the middle of the week. It is the place you want to be.

"We must not think too much about the result, we must think how we want to play and what we expect from us and then if we are clear what we expect from us - intensity, work rate - and we have the attitude right, hopefully the result will be alright. 

"We must respect the opponent, it is one of the toughest competitions and we want to get off to a good start."

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