Frank Lampard is set to name an expected starting eleven, with Andreas Christensen’s injury likely to force the only change for Chelsea against Brighton.
Chelsea will shift their focus back on the Premier League after their successful midweek result against Grimsby Town, which has paved the way for a showdown with Manchester United in the Fourth Round of the Carabao Cup. The Blues though, have to now get going in the Premier League as they find themselves 11th on the table, with Brighton paying them a visit on Saturday.
Kepa Arrizabalaga is the undisputed first-choice at Chelsea. But, the Spaniard would like to register his first clean sheet of the season on Saturday. It’s easier said than done though, especially with Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen both sidelined for the Brighton game.
This means Frank Lampard’s hand is forced and we should see Kurt Zouma and Fikayo Tomori line up as the centre-back. Emerson Palmieri’s injury means Marcos Alonso is an automatic choice on the left, with Cesar Azpiliceuta likely to hold his place down for now, on the right. Lampard addressed the injury issues in the pre-match conference while also giving updates on their current status.
“Toni has got a recurring injury in his groin area, not the original knee injury. We are trying to find a solution because he has still got some pain. We’re hopeful it won’t be long but I haven’t got an end date for you. It’s an injury that is ongoing.”
“Andreas should be okay. He trained with us today. He has missed most of the week. He still has a tiny bit of pain but it’s hopefully not a risk. He will be in the squad. Emerson now is going to be the other side of the international break with a hamstring injury.”
In midfield, Ruben Loftus-Cheek remains sidelined. Nevertheless, Lampard should retain the trio of Mateo Kovacic, Jorginho and N’Golo Kante for the Brighton game. In attack, Michy Batshuayi did well in the midweek fixture, as did Christian Pulisic, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Pedro.
But, none of them are likely to put a dent on the status of Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Willian, all of whom should start in attack for Chelsea against Brighton. Olivier Giroud is still out with an illness.
Probable Starting XI: Kepa; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Tomori, Alonso; Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic; Willian, Abraham, Mount