Christian Pulisic is likely to get the nod over Callum Hudson-Odoi again when Chelsea take on Watford at Vicarage Road on Saturday.
Chelsea will be aiming to continue their fine run of form on the road when they lock horns with Watford at Vicarage Road on Saturday evening. And, Frank Lampard does not have any fresh injury concerns on his hands ahead of this weekend’s fixture.
Kepa Arrizabalaga was rested for the Carabao Cup fourth round tie against Manchester United and the Spaniard should replace Willy Caballero to start between the sticks this weekend. The defensive line is set to see a couple of changes, with Kurt Zouma and Marcos Alonso the only ones keeping hold of their places.
Fikayo Tomori ought to return to the starting lineup, partnering Zouma at the heart of the Chelsea defence while club captain Cesar Azpilicueta will displace Reece James from the right-back slot. Meanwhile, Lampard provided an update on Antonio Rudiger during his pre-match presser, iterating that the German is not fit enough to return just yet.
“He’s not fit. I saw the quotes but there’s a miscommunication somewhere and he’s going to see a consultant on Monday because he has an ongoing issue in his pelvic area which is bothering him. We’ll have to wait until then for a further update.”
Up ahead in midfield, Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho remain the only recognised options at the Chelsea manager’s disposal. N’Golo Kante (groin) and Ross Barkley (ankle) have stepped up their recoveries from their respective injuries, but will only be available for the Champions League tie against Ajax next week, Lampard confirmed while also talking about Andreas Christensen.
“N’Golo is close. He’s working with the team now and will possibly be ready for Ajax next week. Ross is still not quite right but he’s not far away. Andreas is pretty much fit as well but they just have to add the finishing touches in terms of the difference between being fit and match-fit.”
Barkley and Kante should be back in contention for the midweek contest, but for now, Kovacic and Jorginho will pair up in the midfield double pivot against Watford. Three of the four players in attack are pretty much certain starters, with Willian being rested completely against Manchester United while Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount were only second half substitutes in the game.
Abraham will lead the line for Chelsea, with Mount reprising the no. 10 role. Willian will start on the right side of the Chelsea attack. The final place in the side will be contested between Christian Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi. But, fresh from his exploits against Burnley last week, Pulisic is likely to get the nod over Hudson-Odoi once again this weekend when Chelsea face Watford.
Predicted Chelsea XI: Kepa; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Tomori, Alonso; Kovacic, Jorginho; Willian, Mount, Pulisic; Abraham