Chelsea predicted lineup vs Chesterfield - FA Cup

Max Parsons
Chelsea host Chesterfield in round three of the FA Cup
Chelsea host Chesterfield in round three of the FA Cup / Julian Finney/GettyImages

Chelsea commence their 2021/22 FA Cup journey on Saturday evening, hosting Chesterfield at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues head into the tie having just placed one foot in the Carabao Cup final, commandingly seeing off Tottenham 2-0 in their semi-final first-leg encounter in midweek.

Prior to that, however, Thomas Tuchel had seen his side held at home by both Brighton and Liverpool, playing better than their opposition on both occasions.

Now though, last year's FA Cup runners up will look to get things going smoothly against James Rowe's table-topping National League Spireites, who have so far knocked Curzon Ashton, Southend and Salford out of the competition.

Here's how a likely heavily-rotated Chelsea side could look on the day.

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Marcus Bentinelli
Marcus Bentinelli may be given a debut here / Chloe Knott - Danehouse/GettyImages

Marcus Bettinelli (GK) - While Edouard Mendy is away Kepa Arrizabalaga will be the first choice for league matters, so why not give 29-year-old Bettinelli his Chelsea debut for the visit of Chesterfield?

Xavier Mbuyamba (CB) - Another player hoping for a debut, Mbuyamba has been named on the first team's bench once this term although is yet to feature.

Malang Sarr (CB) - With Thiago Silva, Andreas Christensen, Trevoh Chalobah and Cesar Azpilicueta out of contention and Antonio Rudiger likely to be rested, the ever-impressive 22-year-old Sarr should be the leading voice at the back.

Sam McClelland (CB) - Has so far not yet been called up to the senior side, but there could be no better time to give the already capped Northern Ireland international his first-team debut.

2. Wing-backs & Midfielders

Callum Hudson-Odoi
Callum Hudson-Odoi could come back into the starting lineup / James Williamson - AMA/GettyImages

Callum Hudson-Odoi (RWB) - Tuchel's options at wing-back - as with his back line - are somewhat depleted so, rather than tire Hakim Ziyech too much, Hudson-Odoi should be restored to the starting XI.

Lewis Hall (CM) - The highly-rated 17-year-old has been on the Blues' bench for their last two outings, potentially prepping him for a first-team debut here.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek (CM) - If he's in the mood on Saturday evening, he could so easily dominate this fixture.

Christian Pulisic (LWB) - Marcos Alonso was excellent against Tottenham on Wednesday but Pulisic could step in for this one.

3. Forwards

Harvey Vale
Harvey Vale is an exciting prospect / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/GettyImages

Harvey Vale (RF) - Was excellent in Chelsea's 2-0 EFL Cup victory over Brentford last month and, following a positive cameo against Spurs in midweek, should be given another start here.

Jude Soonsup-Bell (ST) - Another 17-year-old, the striker made his debut for the club in the aforementioned win over the Bees, and should be afforded a second start for the club on Saturday.

Timo Werner (LF) - Played his first 45 minutes since mid December last time out after returning from Covid-19, and should be granted a return to the starting lineup here; realistically, he should be looking for a hat-trick against the visitors' depleted defence.

Read 90min's full Chelsea vs Chesterfield preview here