Tammy Abraham is ruled out with an injury while Kurt Zouma is in line to replace Antonio Rudiger in the lineup when Chelsea face Bournemouth this weekend.
Chelsea will travel to the south coast as they gear up to take on a relegation-threatened Bournemouth outfit at the Vitality Stadium in matchweek 28 of the Premier League on Saturday afternoon. And manager Frank Lampard has been handed a fresh injury headache going into the contest.
Star striker Tammy Abraham has once again succumbed to an ankle injury, having recovered from a similar issue not very long ago. The England international picked up the injury during the warm-downs after Chelsea’s 3-0 defeat to Bayern Munich earlier in the week and will miss out against Bournemouth, Lampard has confirmed.
“It’s an ankle injury around the ligament. It’s been a month [since he suffered the injury against Arsenal] and we’re still talking about it so it’s been a frustrating one because we’ve seen him come back and go away,” Lampard revealed in his pre-match press conference.
Here's what the boss had to say on availability for #BOUCHE… 👊
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) February 28, 2020
Along with Abraham, Chelsea will continue to be without the services of midfielder N’Golo Kante, while Callum Hudson-Odoi and Christian Pulisic continue to be sidelined for the Blues.
Having fielded a three-man backline in the last two games, Lampard is likely to switch back to a 4-2-3-1 formation for the trip to Bournemouth. No change is expected between the goalposts where Willy Caballero is likely to be backed again, ahead of Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Reece James and Cesar Azpilicueta, both of whom endured difficult outings against Bayern Munich, should feature as the full-backs on Saturday. Andreas Christensen is expected to be retained in the side, but Antonio Rudiger could be axed after a poor performance last time out. In his stead, Kurt Zouma is likely to get the nod as the second centre-back over Fikayo Tomori.
With Kante still out with an injury, Lampard will have no room for rotation in the midfield department, meaning Chelsea vice-captain Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic ought to start again in the double pivot.
Mason Mount should get the nod in the No. 10 role for the Blues ahead of Ross Barkley, who disappointed in the midweek defeat. Ruben Loftus-Cheek will be back in the matchday squad for Chelsea, Lampard has confirmed. But, the Englishman is likely to play a role from the bench later in the game.
With the switch in formation, Pedro and Willian, both of whom haven’t started the last two games for Chelsea, are in line to return to the starting XI, occupying the flanks on Saturday. And given Abraham’s injury-enforced absence, Olivier Giroud, who scored his first league goal of the season last weekend against Tottenham, should spearhead the Chelsea attack.
Chelsea Predicted Lineup: Caballero; James, Christensen, Zouma, Azpilicueta; Jorginho, Kovacic; Pedro, Mount, Willian; Giroud