Expected Chelsea XI vs Man City as Thomas Tuchel targets FA Cup surprise

Chelsea will bid to reach a fourth FA Cup final in five years when they meet Manchester City at Wembley on Saturday night.

Thomas Tuchel still has two opportunities to end his first half-season in charge of the Blues with a trophy, having also steered them into the Champions League semi-finals earlier this week.

Yet, for now Tuchel turns his attention to an FA Cup semi with runaway Premier League leaders City, who are also in the last four of the Champions League.

It is likely to prove his toughest test since replacing Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge back in January, and a potential final against Leicester or Southampton will be the reward for overcoming it.

Tuchel does have a few injury problems heading into the game, nevertheless, as both Mateo Kovacic and Andreas Christensen are unavailable.

He also has a key decision to make in goal, with Kepa Arrizabalaga starting in all four of the previous rounds.

However, for what is such a crucial outing in their season Tuchel will be expected to give No.1 goalkeeper Edouard Mendy the nod at Wembley.

Captain Cesar Azpilicueta should start alongside Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger in a back three, while Reece James and Ben Chilwell are likely to keep their places in the wing-back slots.

With Kovacic out, N’Golo Kante is almost certain to partner Jorginho in the middle of the park.

Tuchel’s next difficult selection call then comes in attack.

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  • Mason Mount has been one of Chelsea’s standout performers throughout the campaign and has to start in one of the two attacking-midfield positions, but there are a plethora of options to partner him.

    While Hakim Ziyech, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Timo Werner will all be hoping to get the nod, Christian Pulisic is a man in form right now and should therefore be deployed next to Mount.

    Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud appear to have fallen out of favour upfront, meaning Kai Havertz is expected to keep his place as a false nine amid a run of fine form in the position.

    Chelsea predicted lineup vs Man City (3-4-2-1):Mendy; Azpilicueta, Silva, Rudiger; James, Jorginho, Kante, Chilwell; Mount, Pulisic; Havertz

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