Frank Lampard is expected to ring in the changes when Chelsea meet Nottingham Forest in the third round of the FA Cup on Sunday.
Chelsea will look to kickstart their FA Cup campaign on a positive note when they face Nottingham Forest at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, in the third round. While this could be an important fixture for the former champions, coach Frank Lampard is expected to make a lot of rotation in order to deal with the hectic holiday schedule.
Unfortunately, Lampard could not attend the pre-match press conference. But, Jody Morris confirmed that “there’ll be a few changes from Brighton”. The Chelsea assistant manager also provided a general fitness update during the presser.
“Injury-wise, Alonso is looking like he’ll definitely be out and Ruben [Loftus-Cheek] is the obvious one. Apart from that, we’re still looking at a few players in the fallout from the Brighton game. Fikayo [Tomori] trained today but he’s still not feeling the best himself – there’s been a bit of that about because of the time of year.”
Willy Caballero has featured in cup games for Chelsea this season and is expected to replace Kepa Arrizabalaga in goal. There might be an opportunity for youngster Tariq Lamptey after Morris suggested that the youngsters are ready to go whenever called upon.
Lamptey could, therefore, replace Reece James at right-back. On the opposite flank, Cesar Azpilicueta is likely to receive a breather. Morris did rule out Marcos Alonso, meaning Emerson Palmieri is the guaranteed deputy for the Spaniard.
The update on Tomori suggests he is not quite ready yet, meaning we could expect Kurt Zouma to retain his place at the heart of the four-man backline, with Andreas Christensen expected to receive a rare start.
In midfield, Billy Gilmour is a huge favourite to start, at the expense of Jorginho. The Scot could sit at the base of Chelsea 4-3-3, looking to influence the game with his exceptional passing and distribution. Gilmour could be partnered by Ross Barkley and Mateo Kovacic, neither of whom started in midweek.
Finally, in attack, Morris admitted that Michy Batshuayi has remained a professional despite his lack of game-time. The Belgian could be rewarded with a start, with Tammy Abraham getting a much-needed breather. Batshuayi should lead the Chelsea attack against Nottingham Forest, with Pedro and Callum Hudson-Odoi operating in the wide-attacking roles.
Predicted Chelsea XI: Caballero; Lamptey, Christensen, Zouma, Emerson; Kovacic, Gilmour, Barkley; Pedro, Batshuayi, Hudson-Odoi