Thomas Tuchel explains decision to drop Mason Mount for Chelsea’s clash against Man City

Mount starts on the bench for the game against City (Picture: Getty Images)

Thomas Tuchel has explained the reasoning behind his decision to drop Mason Mount to the bench for Chelsea’s crunch clash against Manchester City on Saturday.

Pep Guardiola’s reigning Premier League champions go into the showdown at the Etihad Stadium 10 points clear of the Blues at the top of the table.

Tuchel has made five changes from the side that beat Tottenham in the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg in midweek, with Thiago Silva, Marcos Alonso, N’Golo Kante, Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic all coming in.

Andreas Christensen, Jorginho, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Timo Werner and Mount drop out of the starting XI.

England international Mount has continued to be a regular for the west London side this season, but has to settle for a role on the bench against City.

Explaining his selection decisions before kick-off, Tuchel said: ‘Everybody is an option and it’s not easy to choose. We went with the characteristic of players, [Mateo] Kovacic and N’Golo for example, rather than Jorginho because they’re more dribblers and drivers than passers and I think it suits that a bit more in midfield.’

On his attack, he added: ‘Also Christian and Hakim for their fresh legs and because they’re a bit more runners than for example Mason. We went for Romelu [Lukaku] in the end up front. We thought about it [playing a false nine] to maybe create a bit of an overload but I think it can suit Romelu as well.’

In terms of Thiago Silva coming into the starting XI, the German boss said: ‘We have pushed him. He’s rushed back and this is the situation at the moment. It will be a lot for him and for N’Golo but we’re missing four defenders, four key players to give us more alternatives or have tactical twists.’

Former Chelsea manager Glenn Hoddle expressed his surprise over Tuchel’s call to drop influential midfielder Mount.

‘Since his tooth problem when he had to step out for a while, he’s been most consistent, effects the play, does everything great for Chelsea,’ Hoddle told BT Sport.

‘I’m really surprised he’s not playing.’

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