Why Thomas Tuchel picked Malang Sarr for Brentford clash

Chelsea named a very different line-up for tonight’s game against Brentford, for a variety of reasons.

There are injured players, players tired from international duty, and players who are simply out of form. Ruben Loftus-Cheek starts, but he played the last game before the break, and has done well in giving the side an extra spark after some dull games in attack.

Malang Sarr is perhaps the most surprising choice. The reasoning is understandable – and Thomas Tuchel spelled it out in quotes speaking to Chelsea TV:

“We stay with a back-three, this is the first decision, no need to change,’ said the head coach shortly after the line-ups were announced.

‘We could have played Reece James or Azpi in the back-three,” the Chelsea coach explained.

“We miss Toni Rudiger and Thiago Silva of course today, but then we would have to move everybody around.”

His logic makes sense, and it’s only the perfect storm of two centre backs AND Reece James being out that means Sarr has to play.

So far he’s not put a foot wrong – let’s hope it stays that way. Brentford are a really attacking threat, especially on the counter, and Sarr was struggling to get into an average Porto team last year.

This is a huge step up for him – good luck Malang!