Chelsea head into the international break top of the Premier League table after a 3-1 win against Southampton at Stamford Bridge
Thomas Tuchel is aiming to add a Premier League title to his Champions League crown of last season and things are going rather well with seven matches played.
The Blues sit top of the table heading into the second international break of the season after a 3-1 win against Southampton saw them move one point clear of Liverpool, and two ahead of Manchester City and Manchester United.null
A tough task awaits after the international break in the form of a west London derby with Brentford, who currently sit seventh in the table and have already taken points from Liverpool and Arsenal.
With Edouard Mendy jetting off for two clashes with Senegal, Tuchel may be tempted to turn to Kepa Arrizabalaga against Brentford.
The Spaniard has not been called up to Luis Enrique’s Spain squad for their Nations League semi-final meeting with Italy, with Brighton’s Robert Sanchez favoured instead, alongside Unai Simon and David De Gea.
Kepa has been a solid stand-in for Mendy when called upon, impressing in the Super Cup and away to Tottenham in the Premier League.
Ben Chilwell came back into the Blues defence for the match with Southampton in what was a mixed game, giving away a penalty before netting the third of the afternoon.
With Marcos Alonso called up to the Spain squad, and Chilwell unlikely to be starting for England, Tuchel should consider sticking with the former Leicester City man.
Thiago Silva is not due back in west London until the morning of the Brentford game so will miss out. That should mean Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger and Trevoh Chalobah start at centre-back while Cesar Azpilicueta will continue to fill in for Reece James on the right.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mateo Kovacic were chosen to start in midfield against the Saints in what was a considerable shake-up from Tuchel.
Italy only have one match during the international break, which takes place on Tuesday, October 6, so it is likely Jorginho will be ready to play against Brentford.
With Kovacic travelling to Cyprus and Croatia, he may be due a rest upon his return, with Loftus-Cheek retaining his place in midfield after impressing last week.
Romelu Lukaku will of course retain his place in the starting XI, barring any injuries while on duty with Belgium, having already become the club’s talisman.
Having scored his first Premier League goal of the season on Saturday, it would be very harsh for Tuchel to drop Timo Werner against Brentford as well. Germany have two simple games with Romania and North Macedonia so it is likely he will be given some rest by Hansi Flick.
The left wing remains up for grabs but with Mason Mount impressing from the bench recently, it is likely he will return to Tuchel’s starting line-up.
Possible strongest XI: Kepa; Christensen, Rudiger, Chalobah; Chilwell, Loftus-Cheek, Jorginho, Azpilicueta; Mount, Werner; Lukaku