Jorginho and Callum Hudson-Odoi are set to start while Mason Mount is likely to be benched when Chelsea take on Brighton on Wednesday.
Chelsea will be eager to consolidate their place in the top four by kicking off 2020 on a high when they lock horns with Brighton & Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium in Wednesday’s lunch-time kick-off. And, Frank Lampard does not have any fresh injury concerns to contend with ahead of his side’s latest fixture.
Kepa Arrizabalaga has played every minute in the Premier League this season for Chelsea and that is not set to change in the new year, with the Spaniard taking his place in goal once again. In front of him, though, there could be some definitive changes, with Lampard reverting to the 4-3-3 against Brighton.
The switch to the formation paved the way for the come-from-behind 2-1 win over Arsenal this past weekend and it should compel Lampard to keep faith in the system once again. The change in the formation means one centre-back drops out of the starting lineup, and that man ought to be Fikayo Tomori.
Antonio Rudiger and Kurt Zouma will, thus, partner up at the heart of the Chelsea defence, with Emerson Palmieri an automatic pick to start as the left-back in the continued absence of Marcos Alonso.
For the right-back slot, Tariq Lamptey is in contention after impressing in his appearance off the bench against Arsenal. Lampard praised the young defender, who is certain to be a part of the matchday squad at Brighton, in his press conference following the win over Arsenal.
“Tariq Lamptey is a credit to Jody Morris and Joe Edwards, because when we sat and analysed the last two days and we knew Cesar Azpilicueta had a small injury and Reece James is injured then we are looking at options for a right-back or right wing-back.”
“They said believe in him, trust in him, because they did and I listened to that. We felt it was the right time to bring him into the game and he was a catalyst because we were getting down the sides and he gave us a little bit more of an edge.”
With Reece James still on the sidelines, Lamptey could be given his full Chelsea debut, but Cesar Azpilicueta is likely to start in his stead. Up ahead in midfield, the shift in formation means Jorginho, who played a key role in Chelsea’s turnaround last weekend, will likely return.
Jorginho should start at the base of the three-man midfield, with N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic providing him company in the middle of the park. The second and final change in the starting lineup should see Mason Mount dropping down to the bench.
In Mount’s stead, Callum Hudson-Odoi ought to start on the left side of the Chelsea attack, seeing as Christian Pulisic is struggling to recover from a tight hamstring. Hudson-Odoi will have Willian and Tammy Abraham as his partners in the final third, with Abraham spearheading the attack at Brighton.
Predicted Chelsea XI: Kepa; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Rudiger, Emerson; Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic; Willian, Abraham, Hudson-Odoi