Frank Lampard revealed Tammy Abraham will be subject to a late fitness test as Chelsea prepare to host Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.
Chelsea have been handed back-to-back Premier League defeats at the hands of Manchester City and West Ham United respectively. Frank Lampard would ideally want to arrest the rut right here, lest run the risk of other top four contenders catching up. But, Tammy Abraham is still a doubt to start against Aston Villa.
Kepa Arrizabalaga has been having a good time in goal for Chelsea and is undoubtedly the first-choice at Stamford Bridge. The back four, though, should see some change.
Cesar Azpilicueta should come back into the fold, but could be stationed on the left, with Reece James impressing in the 1-0 defeat to West Ham. Fikayo Tomori and Kurt Zouma should continue to be the options in central defence, with Antonio Rudiger still a couple of weeks away.
In midfield, N’Golo Kante was benched against West Ham in a decision that is said to have had the biggest impact in the defeat. The Frenchman should return, with Mason Mount ideally the one to give way as Lampard reverts to a three-man central midfield. Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic should partner Kante in the middle.
In attack, Willian is another star who was missing against West Ham and should return to the starting lineup against Aston Villa. Christian Pulisic should grab the other wide attacking spot. Although, Lampard could look to play Pedro in order to rest the USMNT star.
The main point of contention is the centre-forward spot. Olivier Giroud seemed to be lacking confidence and form and is unlikely to be chosen by Lampard for the game against Aston Villa. The manager iterated in his pre-match conference that Tammy Abraham is fit but will undergo a late fitness test, with some pain still there.
“Tammy is okay. We are going to give him every possible chance to be fit. There is still some pain in the area of the injury, we will make a judgement call tomorrow. It is painful for him so it about the pain threshold and does it affect his movement, so I don’t want to commit today [on his availability].”
Should Tammy Abraham not be fit in time, we should see Michy Batshuayi lead the Chelsea attack against Aston Villa on Wednesday.
Predicted Chelsea XI: Kepa, James, Tomori, Zouma, Azpilicueta, Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic, Willian, Abraham, Pulisic