Tammy Abraham and Reece James will not be available for selection when Chelsea face off against Hull City in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Chelsea will be looking to progress further in the FA Cup when they lock horns against EFL Championship outfit Hull City at the KCOM Stadium on Saturday evening. And the Blues are set to be without the services of star striker Tammy Abraham for the game, along with fellow academy graduate Reece James.
Abraham limped off the field in Chelsea’s 2-2 draw against Arsenal in midweek and manager Frank Lampard has confirmed that the England international will not be unavailable against Hull City. “The good news is he hasn’t fractured anything,” said Lampard in his pre-match presser.
“We were worried about a small fracture or a hairline fracture. He hasn’t got that. We have to see how it develops. It’s not a clear-cut one. He’s not fit for this weekend. Whether he will be fit for Leicester after that I’m still not sure. I haven’t got the news for you. It’s not clear at the moment,” he added.
Reece James is also set to miss out after failing to recover from the injury he picked up against Newcastle United last weekend. James’ unavailability means Cesar Azpilicueta should continue at right-back, although youngster Tariq Lamptey is an option.
The fit-again Marcos Alonso is likely to return at left-back, replacing Emerson Palmieri. Kurt Zouma and Fikayo Tomori are set to pair up at the heart of the Chelsea defence, having not been involved in the last three matches. Willy Caballero should replace Kepa Arrizabalaga in goal as is the norm for cup ties.
In the midfield department, Ruben Loftus-Cheek has returned to training, but it is too early for him to make an appearance. Marco van Ginkel remains sidelined, however. There are likely to be a couple of changes in the middle of the park as well, with N’Golo Kante set to be benched after a disappointing performance against Arsenal.
Ross Barkley, who has made substitute appearances in the last two matches, ought to replace Kante. Mason Mount is also likely to be reinstated after being benched for the last game, with the Englishman set to start at the expense of Mateo Kovacic. Chelsea vice-captain Jorginho is expected to be retained at the base of the three-man midfield.
Abraham’s unavailability due to injury should pave the way for Michy Batshuayi to start as the lone striker for Chelsea against Hull. Callum Hudson-Odoi, who has a good record in FA Cup, ought to continue on the flanks in the absence of Christian Pulisic, while Willian is likely to be given a breather by Lampard on Saturday, in favour of Pedro.
Chelsea Predicted XI: Caballero; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Tomori, Alonso; Barkley, Jorginho, Mount; Pedro, Batshuayi, Hudson-Odoi