I must be excited for the return of national football, I am doing a line-up scheduled for a Thursday afternoon, two days before the game and even before Thomas Tuchel gives us any news of the team!
He’s ready for his press conference tomorrow and we’ll have the latest injury news. It looks like we only really have concerns for Antonio Rudiger, who has had “back problems” in international service, and Christian Pulisic, who has yet to return to full training.
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So with that in mind, and also taking into account potential burnouts for players in international service, here is the squad I think Tuchel could pick against a good Brentford side this weekend.
Obviously Edouard Mendy will start in goal unless there is a problem.
I think he will be joined at the back by Cesar Azpilicueta, Trevoh Chalobah and Andreas Christensen. Thiago Silva won’t be back from his international duties in enough time to play, and as we said, Rudiger could be in doubt.
Right winger, I think Reece James will start. Then at left-back I think Ben Chilwell could get the green light on Marcos Alonso as he only played England’s first game on international duty.
In midfield I think he will continue with Ruben Loftus-Cheek alongside Mateo Kovacic. Jorginho to me looked exhausted for Italy last week and could use the extra rest, and N’Golo Kante may or may not be considered perfectly fit after only training with the full squad for 2 or 3 sessions this week.
At the top I think we might see a big surprise. He’s my total wildcard, but maybe we see Ross Barkley start in one of ten positions, because of his impact in the last few games and how he feels in training. I could be wrong, and that’s just my crazy guess … But let’s see.
With him I think we’ll see Timo Werner and Callum Hudson-Odoi. The latter played well in that role in the last game and is totally fresh, and I think due to Romelu Lukaku’s fatigue during the international break he could get the rest. Werner obviously played for Germany, but it would be wise to use his goal swing and keep throwing it for now.
There is a cry for Hakim Ziyech to start, but I think Callum might just nod his head.
My Xl predicted (3-4-3):
Mendy, Azpilicueta, Chalobah, Christensen. James, Kovacic, Loftus-Cheek, Chilwell. Barkley, Hudson-Odoi, Werner.