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With the start of the 2022-23 season on the horizon, fresh excitement and hope is in the air for all supporters as they get a closer look at Thomas Tuchel’s side, who are striving to compete on all fronts in 2022-23.
They head to Goodison Park on the opening day of the season this weekend to face Frank Lampard’s Everton side.
Thomas Tuchel has plenty of decisions to make in the lead up to the game, including choosing his first starting XI of the year.
As the time on the training pitches at Cobham come to an end as matchday nears, Absolute Chelsea takes a look at what questions Tuchel will need to answer this week ahead of the Premier League opener.
Goals have been an alarming issue for Chelsea, with much of the onus placed on the wing-backs and attacking midfielders to score for the Blues.
With a new season upon Tuchel and co, it remains to be seen what kind of formation Tuchel will take into the campaign from pre-season, but it’s likely it will be a 3-4-3 or 3-5-2 system.
One thing is guaranteed: Chelsea will more than likely start with an attacking front trio of some sort.
Kai Havertz led the line for most of the Blues’ campaign last year after Romelu Lukaku failed to live up to expectations, while Mason Mount continued his ever-reliable performances and has been arguably the most key player to Chelsea since making his debut a couple of years ago under Frank Lampard.
Raheem Sterling comes in as the big-money signing bagged with an abundance of quality so it's only right that he completes the front three.
It’s not a case of if Sterling plays, but rather where? Since bursting onto the scene at Liverpool, he’s always occupied the left flank and dribbled inside onto his favoured right boot in orthodox modern-day fashion.
The only issue is that has also been the role occupied by Mount in the past and with the likes of Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner facing uncertain futures, the front three somewhat pick themselves.
Although, being the big-money incoming, Sterling could get his preferred role on the left side of attack and work in an interchanging front three, shifting positions with Havertz and Mount.
One of Tuchel’s biggest selection headaches will be choosing his midfield for the opening game of the season. In the last pre-season match, the first of the two games against Udinese, and for much of last term, Jorginho paired with N’Golo Kante in a midfield pivot.
Conor Gallagher shined during his loan spell at Crystal Palace and has returned to the Chelsea midfield fold, and will give Tuchel a selection headache.
Kante, who missed the US tour due to his vaccination status, and Jorginho have all the experience to get Chelsea started off on the right note, but Mateo Kovacic will be eager to be given minutes following his impressive season last time out when fit.
Ben Chilwell has had an extremely difficult spell since moving to Chelsea. It's been a period plagued by injuries, affording the other players in the squad to stamp their authority in the left-back position.
Chilwell has featured just once on the US pre-season this term and with Chelsea stepping up their efforts to sign Marc Cucurella, the England international will be hoping to reclaim his spot in the line-up.
As far as this weekend goes, Chilwell may not make the full 90 minutes, but it would be great to see him back on the pitch again.
Marc Cucurella has joined the Blues from Brighton and Hove Albion and could be given the nod ahead of the England international.
The 24-year-old has been registered by Tuchel's side, just beating the deadline as he could be in for a start ahead of the returning Chilwell.
The past few trips to Goodison Park have been a disaster for Chelsea and a run of results the Blues will hope to turn around.
Tuchel’s men suffered defeat there last season and failed to beat Everton at all last season, drawing 1-1 at Stamford Bridge.
The Toffees have beaten Chelsea in four consecutive matches at home and will need to be at their utmost best again to stand a chance of winning.
Everton lost their star player in Richarlison and should be there for the taking.
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