Callum Hudson-Odoi could replace Christian Pulisic in the Chelsea starting lineup when they clash against Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon.
Chelsea will be aiming to get back to winning ways in the Premier League when they play hosts to Bournemouth this weekend in Matchweek 17. There are no fresh injury concerns for manager Frank Lampard heading into the game, but the Blues will once again be without Fikayo Tomori and Olivier Giroud, along with long-term absentees Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Marco van Ginkel.
With the busy festive period looming, Lampard should consider rotating his troops on Saturday, more so considering the form that Bournemouth have been in of late. No change is expected in goal though, with Kepa Arrizabalaga set to start between the sticks once again on Saturday.
Training over for another week…
Tomorrow = matchday! 👊 pic.twitter.com/cgvIvsIt98
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) December 13, 2019
But, a couple of alterations could very well be on the cards as Lampard might opt to rest club captain Cesar Azpilicueta and Antonio Rudiger, who returned from a lengthy injury layoff in the midweek clash against LOSC Lille. Reece James and Andreas Christensen are expected to replace the duo respectively, with Kurt Zouma and Emerson Palmieri holding on to their places.
Jorginho returned to the starting XI against Lille after being benched for the previous two games and he ought to feature once again from kick off against Bournemouth. N’Golo Kante, too, is expected to start for Chelsea in the middle of the park on Saturday.
Mateo Kovacic has started all of Chelsea’s matches since the last week of October and could do with a breather here, especially with the pile-up of fixtures lying ahead. The Croat is likely to drop to the bench, with Mason Mount coming into the starting XI ahead of the fit-again Ross Barkley.
Christian Pulisic has been in top form in his debut season for Chelsea. And Lampard was full of praise for the USMNT star on the eve of the game, while also claiming that there is plenty more to come from the attacker.
Speaking in his pre-match presser, Lampard said, “There’s a lot more to come. He gets himself in so many great positions with his talent and his dribbling ability so more goals will be the next stage of that. I’m really pleased with him because we’ve asked a lot of him. He’s played a lot of games recently, back-to-back in a new league that’s very physical but of course we want a lot more as well.”
However, as the Blues’ boss mentioned, Pulisic has played a lot of games recently and could do with a rest ahead of a busy period, especially considering that he is not used the packed schedule lying ahead. And hence, the former Borussia Dortmund man could make way for Chelsea academy graduate Callum Hudson-Odoi against Bournemouth.
Willian is likely to continue on the other flank though, while Tammy Abraham spearheads the Chelsea attack once again this weekend.
Chelsea Predicted XI: Kepa; James, Christensen, Zouma, Emerson; Kante, Jorginho; Willian, Mount, Hudson-Odoi; Abraham