Thiago Silva may miss out for Chelsea while Christian Pulisic remains sidelined when they face off against Newcastle United on Saturday afternoon.
Chelsea will be aiming to continue their winning run when they travel to St. James’ Park to take on Newcastle United on Matchday 9 of the 2020/21 Premier League on Saturday.
And manager Frank Lampard has a few roster issues to contend with, heading into the game. First off, the Blues’ boss confirmed in his pre-match press conference that Christian Pulisic remains sidelined with a hamstring injury, while Kai Havertz is also a doubt, having just returned to training after completing his isolation period.
“Christian Pulisic is not fit for Newcastle but he’s stepped up his training slowly. It’s been quite a problematic injury so we’ll stay cautious. Kai Havertz is back. His isolation is over and he tested negative two days ago so he’s just started training on his own to get some of his fitness back after two weeks at home,” Lampard said.
However, the biggest blow is likely to come with the potential absence of Thiago Silva. The Brazilian has played a key role in solidifying the Blues’ defence, but is a doubt for Saturday after having returned late from international duty, Lampard revealed.
“Thiago Silva has just landed and messaged me this afternoon so he probably won’t be going to Newcastle because of the length of his journey and timings,” the manager said. With Silva likely to miss out, Antonio Rudiger should step into the starting XI on Saturday, alongside Kurt Zouma at the heart of the Chelsea defence.
Reece James is a certain starter at right-back, while Ben Chilwell should be fit enough to start on the opposite side, despite having picked up a minor back problem while on duty with England. This backline will shield the new first-choice goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.
Jorginho sat out at the last Premier League fixture against Sheffield United, but is expected to return to the base of the midfield against Newcastle. His return would mean N’Golo Kante moves to a slightly advanced role in the centre of the park, while Mason Mount, who was brilliant for England earlier this week, will take up the third slot.
With Pulisic still unavailable, Lampard is expected to stick with the front three that has worked very well in the past few games. Hakim Ziyech, who has been one of the signings of the season so far, ought to start on the right flank, while Timo Werner should slot in on the left and look to cut in and take aim at goal.
Despite Olivier Giroud’s starring display for France against Sweden, Tammy Abraham should get the nod as the centre-forward for Chelsea against Newcastle.
Chelsea Predicted XI: Mendy; James, Zouma, Rudiger, Chilwell; Kante, Jorginho, Mount; Ziyech, Abraham, Werner