Tuchel explains reason for his weird looking line-up against West Ham

Photo: Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

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Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel made six changes from the team that played a goalless draw with Brighton, as six fresh legs were introduced to start against West Ham. Edouard Mendy, Cesar Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva, Ben Chilwell, N’Golo Kante and Timo Werner all returned to the starting line-up in place of Kepa Arrizabalaga, Reece James, Kurt Zouma, Marcos Alonso, Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech.

It was a weird looking back line that had Thiago Silva, Antonio Rudiger and Andres Christensen, with Cesar Azpilicueta playing as a right wing-back for the first time.

Explaining his decision to take away Azpilicueta from the back three, Tuchel revealed that he wanted height in his defence against a West Ham side that are notorious for their height advantage.

Tuchel told Sky Sports: “We opted for some height in the back because we know about the strengths of West Ham at set-pieces, so we went with Toni [Rudiger], Andreas [Christensen] and Thiago [Silva] in the back-three, which is a bit taller than if Azpi [Azpilicueta] plays there.

“We gained some centimetres in defending set-pieces, that was the decision. There are a lot of changes from the last game, but if you see the games before, it’s a group that is used to playing with each other.

“I think we have a strong 11 on the pitch.”

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