Hudson-Odoi starts, Chilwell back in – expected Chelsea line-up against Atletico

Callum Hudson-Odoi could get an immediate chance to impress against Atletico on Tuesday after the winger suffered the ignominy of being a substituted substitute against Southampton on Saturday.

But head coach Thomas Tuchel’s increasingly unpredictable selections mean second guessing his line-up for the Champions League tie with the La Liga leaders on Tuesday is no simple task.

The ever-impressive Mason Mount is a certain starter and Hudson-Odoi, so controversially replaced 31 minutes after coming on in the 1-1 Premier League draw with the Saints at St Mary’s, could well start following some big hints by Tuchel about the England winger’s importance.

If Hudson-Odoi does play from the off that could see Mount as a “false nine” or Timo Werner play centrally, with the German able to use his pace to good effect against a more attack-minded opposition than he often faces.

Both Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic are available – as is Hakim Ziyech – but a lack of game time may well count against them.

Edouard Mendy will play in goal, one of the few guaranteed starters.

The defence will most likely see Andreas Christensen return to play centrally, with Thiago Silva still not fit and the lack of a ball playing centre-half an obvious issue against Southampton.

Antonio Rudiger and Cesar Azpilicueta should continue either side of the Dane.

Meanwhile, N’Golo Kante’s impressive performance in the “double six” role means he will retain his place alongside Mateo Kovacic, another who did well on a frustrating day at St Mary’s. That would Jorginho missing out once again.

The wing-back positions could well see England duo Ben Chilwell and Reece James feature. Marcos Alonso had a poor game against the Saints and Tuchel has been quick to rotate so a fresh and more defensively aware and capable Chilwell seems a smarter option when taking on the La Liga leaders.

Expected Chelsea line-up: Mendy, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger, James, Kante, Kovacic, Mount, Chilwell, Hudson-Odoi, Werner. 

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