Thomas Tuchel has explained why Edouard Mendy has been replaced in the Chelsea team for the Blues’ London derby clash with Tottenham. Kepa Arrizabalaga makes his first Premier League appearance of the season in goal.
The Chelsea boss has made three changes to the side that defeated Zenit St Petersburg in the Champions League on Wednesday. Romelu Lukaku scored the only goal of the game and inevitably keeps his place up front.
Lukaku is supported by an attacking midfield duo of Mason Mount and Kai Havertz. Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic play just behind, leaving N’Golo Kante on the bench. Kante has returned from an ankle injury but has not earned a start against Spurs.
Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso flank a back three of Andreas Christensen, Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger.
But Blues supporters were left baffled when they noticed that reliable goalkeeper Mendy had been left out of the matchday squad. The 29-year-old apparently travelled to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium but is not among the 20 players picked.
Mendy was outstanding in Chelsea’s last Premier League game against Aston Villa. His superb first-half double save helped Tuchel’s side win 3-0 and maintain their unbeaten start to the 2021-22 campaign.
The former Fulham shot-stopper Marcus Bettinelli has been named on the substitutes’ bench and will be in reserve should Arrizabalaga need to be taken off.
Mendy’s absence has now been explained as him having taken ‘a hit’ prior to the Champions League clash with Zenit. Goal have revealed that the Senegal international had trouble diving in the win.
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