Kepa Arrizabalaga and Billy Gilmour are set to start while Callum Hudson-Odoi misses out with an injury as Chelsea gear up to take on Krasnodar on Tuesday.
Chelsea will be aiming to end the group stages of the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League on a winning note when they take on Russian outfit FK Krasnodar at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night.
Ahead of the game, the Blues have been dealt with a double blow as Hakim Ziyech is out after picking up a hamstring problem against Leeds United, while Callum Hudson-Odoi also misses out after getting injured in training.
“Hakim Ziyech is going for a scan this afternoon so I will have more information on his hamstring injury tomorrow. He’s out. Callum Hudson-Odoi is also out. He had a hamstring problem in training yesterday too,” manager Frank Lampard confirmed in his pre-match press conference on Monday.
— Talk Chelsea (@talkchelsea) December 7, 2020
With qualification to the knockouts and top spot in Group E already sealed, the manager is expected to ring in the changes and hand opportunities to some of the non-regulars on Tuesday, starting from the goalkeeping spot, where Kepa Arrizabalaga is set to replace Edouard Mendy, with Lampard confirming as much in his presser.
“Kepa starts. With goalkeepers, they have to be patient. This game is a game for Kepa who is training brilliantly well, acting brilliantly well. His reaction has been spot on,” the manager claimed.
There should be wholesale changes in defence as well, with Cesar Azpilicueta and Emerson Palmieri stepping in as the full-backs while Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger get the nod at the heart of the Chelsea backline against Krasnodar.
Jorginho should make his way into the starting XI, with N’Golo Kante likely to be given a rest ahead of the Premier League encounter against Everton later this week. Partnering the Italian international on Tuesday will be youngster Billy Gilmour, with Lampard confirming that the Scotsman will start.
The young midfielder, who has emerged as a target for Serie A side Napoli, has recently returned from a long-term injury and will be aiming to make the most of his first start of the 2020/21 campaign.
Kai Havertz should retain his place in the Chelsea starting lineup, slotting in as the No. 10 against Krasnodar. Christian Pulisic, who was on target at the weekend against Leeds United, should get the nod on the left, while Ziyech and Hudson-Odoi’s unavailability would mean Timo Werner starts on the right.
Olivier Giroud has been in terrific form of late and has started both of Chelsea’s last two matches. However, the Frenchman could be given a breather on Tuesday night, with Tammy Abraham spearheading the Blues’ attack against Krasnodar.
Chelsea Predicted XI: Kepa; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger, Emerson; Jorginho, Gilmour; Werner, Havertz, Pulisic; Abraham