Team News: Reece James starts for Chelsea against Newcastle United

Reece James starts for Chelsea in Wednesday’s Premier League Summer Series game versus Newcastle United.

Reece James has been handed a start for Chelsea for Wednesday evening’s Premier League Summer Series game versus Newcastle United.

James was a late arrival in the United States due to a minor injury and illness, but the England international is deemed fit enough to make his first start of Chelsea’s pre-season.

A total of eight changes have been made to the team that begun the fixture with Brighton & Hove Albion with Kepa Arrizabalaga, Christopher Nkunku and Ian Maatsen the only players to retain their spots.

The entire back four has been tinkered with, Mauricio Pochettino choosing to hand opportunities to Trevoh Chalobah, Bashir Humphreys and Marc Cucurella.

Cesare Casadei is given the chance to partner Enzo Fernandez in the middle of the pitch, with Mykhaylo Mudryk getting the nod on the right flank.

Pochettino has spoken in the past of wanting to see Nkunku work behind Nicolas Jackson, and it is a move that he has taken for an encounter against a potential Premier League rival next season.

Meanwhile, Eddie Howe has opted to revert back to a defensive four after an untested 3-4-3 formation failed to have the desired effect against Aston Villa at the weekend.

Aside from the absences of Nick Pope and Bruno Guimaraes, it is a first-choice defence and midfield, with Miguel Almiron, Anthony Gordon and Alexander Isak getting the nod in the final third.

Newcastle United: Dubravka; Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn; Joelinton, Tonali, Miley; Almiron, Isak, Gordon

Chelsea: Arrizabalaga; James, Chalobah, Humphreys, Cucurella; Casadei, Fernandez; Mudryk, Nkunku, Maatsen; Jackson

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