Reece James should return while Cesar Azpilicueta will start at left-back when Chelsea take on Tottenham at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday.
Chelsea will be desperate to get back to winning ways when they lock horns with rivals Tottenham at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday evening. And, Frank Lampard has a near-full strength squad to choose from ahead of his side’s latest fixture.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek remains the only absentee for Chelsea, which is a huge positive for the Blues in the busy festive period. Lampard highlighted the same during his pre-match press conference, while also providing an update on the English midfielder.
“Ruben’s making good progress which is really positive, but he’s nowhere near contention for matchplay yet. Other than that, we’re all pretty good. Ross, Tomori and Giroud are fine. We’ve got a fit squad. Nice selection problems I suppose.”
As Lampard iterated during his presser, Fikayo Tomori is fit and available after recovering from his injury. Tomori, though, is unlikely to start, with Antonio Rudiger proving his fitness in the last couple of games. Rudiger is likely to continue having Kurt Zouma as his partner at the heart of the Chelsea defence.
The backline, however, should see one change, with Emerson Palmieri making way for Reece James. James’s inclusion should mean Cesar Azpilicueta moves out to the left-back slot, with James slotting in as the right-back. Behind the defence, Kepa Arrizabalaga will start between the sticks once again.
The rest of the side should see just one more change, which should come in midfield. Lampard should prefer a 4-3-3 formation once again, but Mason Mount could drop down to the bench. In Mount’s stead, Mateo Kovacic is expected to start, with the Croat accompanying Jorginho and N’Golo Kante in the middle of the park.
Upfront, there could be a stimulation to make changes, owing to a drop in Christian Pulisic and Willian’s form. However, the Chelsea boss should keep faith in both Pulisic and Willian against Tottenham, meaning Callum Hudson-Odoi will remain relegated to the bench once again.
Olivier Giroud is available again, but Tammy Abraham will spearhead Chelsea’s attack against Tottenham, with the English international hoping to boost his strong away scoring record.
Predicted Chelsea XI: Kepa; James, Zouma, Rudiger, Azpilicueta; Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic; Willian, Abraham, Pulisic