Chelsea will once again be without the services of key men Christian Pulisic and Kai Havertz when they face off against Sheffield United this weekend.
Chelsea will be aiming to extend their unbeaten streak to eight games across all competitions when they go head to head against Premier League bottom-feeders Sheffield United at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Unfortunately for Chelsea boss Frank Lampard, he will once again have to make do without the services of key attacker Christian Pulisic, who is nursing a thigh injury, as well as marquee summer signing Kai Havertz, who tested positive for coronavirus earlier this week.
“He [Pulisic] is not fit to play. He is still suffering with his hamstring and he is not training. With Kai, we must wait until he is symptom-free first of all and then he will have to have a negative test, so at the moment that is not decided, that is not clear,” Lampard said on the duo in his pre-match press conference.
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The Chelsea manager also confirmed that Kepa Arrizabalaga had recovered from his shoulder injury and would be available for selection on Saturday. “Kepa has recovered. He still is getting a slight bit of pain but he is in the squad for tomorrow,” Lampard reported.
However, considering the impact that summer signing Edouard Mendy has made in his opening few matches for Chelsea, he should now be the undisputed first-choice in goal, with Kepa only likely to make the bench against Sheffield United.
Kurt Zouma and Thiago Silva have forged a solid partnership at the heart of the Chelsea defence and Lampard isn’t likely to tinker with that when the Blades come visiting. No changes are expected in the full-back slots as well, with the impressive English duo of Reece James and Ben Chilwell in line for another start.
Havertz’s unavailability does open up a spot in the middle of the park for Chelsea. And Lampard is likely to stick with the trio that he picked in the UEFA Champions League fixture against Rennes, meaning Jorginho, N’Golo Kante and Mason Mount feature from the get-go once again, while Mateo Kovacic waits for his opportunity on the bench.
Callum Hudson-Odoi is pushing for a start in attack in Pulisic’s absence. However, with Timo Werner shining bright starting on the left flank in recent fixtures and Hakim Ziyech nailing down the spot on the right-wing, Hudson-Odoi could miss out once again. Tammy Abraham should be the man spearheading the Chelsea attack against Sheffield United.
Chelsea Predicted Starting XI: Mendy; James, Zouma, Silva, Chilwell; Kante, Jorginho, Mount; Ziyech, Abraham, Werner.