Football

Thomas Tuchel explains why Reece James returns to Chelsea’s starting XI for Tottenham clash


James was drafted in at right wing-back (Picture: Getty Images)

Thomas Tuchel says Reece James was reintroduced to the Chelsea starting XI against Spurs because he wants to give all members of his talented squad a chance, while he also hinted that the switch may slightly change the team’s shape.

The right-back made his first start under the new boss as Tammy Abraham was the only change from the side that beat Burnley 2-0 last weekend.

James was brought on at right wing-back after 73 minutes in place of Calum Hudson-Odoi in the Burnley win but was chosen from the start against Spurs.

Abraham was the one to drop out against for James (Picture: Getty Images)

Tuchel has lined up with a variation of a 3-4-3 formation in his first two matches, but hinted the system could slightly shift on Thursday to better match Jose Mourinho’s side.

When asked if James coming in for Abraham suggests a change in shape, Tuchel told BT Sport: ‘A little bit. This is what we have in the pocket, and this is what we can decide because we have a squad with many good players.

‘They deserve to play. We change from game to game what suits us best. Today is Reece’s turn to show up, and I hope he can.’

Tuchel has previously suggested that rotation will be common for his Chelsea side as he has been impressed by the work ethic and talent of his entire squad in training.

‘If we manage to find a starting XI that can guarantee to win us 20 in a row, we will not change! It’s very unlikely this will happen and we need everybody,’ the German boss said after the Burnley win.

‘Right now every player has every right to start for us because I’m very happy with the quality, intensity and devotion in training. It’s super hard selections, or maybe super easy because I give everybody the chance to show up.’


MORE : Thomas Tuchel says Callum Hudson-Odoi ‘took his chance’ at Chelsea after Frank Lampard’s exit


MORE : Thomas Tuchel explains why he blocked Billy Gilmour and Tino Anjorin Chelsea exits

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