The Blues won the Champions League under Thomas Tuchel last season, beating Manchester City in the grand finale in Portugal. On Wednesday, Thomas Tuchel’s side defeated Villarreal on penalty shootouts (6-5) to win the UEFA Super Cup.
Thomas Tuchel has an excellent squad that will be expected to challenge for the Premier League title in the upcoming campaign.
Chelsea will likely be without attacker Hakim Ziyech, who scored the opening goal against Villarreal but suffered a shoulder injury in the first half that saw his night at Belfast being cut short.
Mason Mount and Jorginho, who have only recently returned to training following international commitments this summer, provided a boost to the Pensioners after coming on as second-half substitutes and scoring in the shootouts in the UEFA Super Cup.
Meanwhile, Romelu Lukaku is on the cusp of rejoining the Blues on a club-record fee from Inter Milan. Whether or not the Belgian striker will be a part of Tuchel’s squad on Saturday remains to be seen.
Predicted Chelsea Lineup vs Crystal Palace (3-4-2-1)
Kepa came on as a substitute for Edouard Mendy to help Chelsea win the penalty shootouts against Villarreal and subsequently win the UEFA Super Cup.
However, Edouard Mendy is Tuchel’s first-choice goalkeeper, and the Senegal international should make the Chelsea lineup against Crystal Palace.
Trevoh Chalobah impressed in Chelsea’s three-man backline in the Super Cup, playing the entire 120 minutes.
Having forced his way into Tuchel’s plans, the youngster could keep his place in the Chelsea lineup alongside Antonio Rudiger. For the third centre-back spot, Andreas Christensen could come in for Kurt Zouma.
Cesar Azpilicueta was a second-half substitute and scored in the shootouts at Belfast. He could get the nod ahead of Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James at right wing-back.
Marcos Alonso played the entire game on Wednesday, but considering Ben Chilwell recently joined training, Tuchel could persist with Alonso.
N’Golo Kante had a solid 65 minutes against Villarreal before being replaced by Jorginho. He’ll be raring to start in midfield at the weekend.
Partnering Kante in the middle of the park in the Chelsea lineup could be the industrious and dogged Mateo Kovacic, despite the Croatian playing the full 120 minutes in Belfast.
After replacing the injured Ziyech in the dying minutes of the first half, Christian Pulisic looked lively after the break against Unai Emery’s men and could be rewarded with a start in Chelsea’s season opener.
Kai Havertz will be desperate to redeem himself after missing from the spot in the shootouts. The versatile German international should retain his place in the Chelsea lineup.
Leading the attack for Chelsea should be Timo Werner, who will be keen to start the new campaign on a high at Stamford Bridge.