Mark Hughes will be without the suspended Jack Stephens for the home fixture against Chelsea, though midfielder Mario Lemina is available again following illness. Meanwhile, Shane Long is set to shake off an ankle knock to compete for a starting role up front. Hughes turned to a 3-4-2-1 formation in the 3-2 defeat to Arsenal, but Stephens’ absence makes a return to a 4-4-2 more unless he decides to hand a start to Jan Bednarek in his place. Either way, Maya Yoshida looks a certain starter alongside Wesley Hoedt at the heart of the defence. Lemina is now an option to replace Oriol Romeu in central midfield alongside Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, with James Ward-Prowse perhaps lining up on the right side of midfield in a 4-4-2. Dusan Tadic looks the favourite to start on the opposite flank, but Josh Sims, Nathan Redmond and Sofiane Boufal provide alternatives. After scoring as a substitute at the Emirates, Charlie Austin will be expected to earn a starting role with Long as his partner should he gets through Friday’s training session without complications. A 3-4-2-1 would likely see Long drop to the bench. Manolo Gabbiadini and Guido Carrillo are other attacking options available to Hughes.
Cedric – Hoedt – Yoshida – Bertrand
Ward-Prowse – Hojbjerg– Tadic – Romeu
Long – Austin