Mateo Kovacic is set to come in for Jorginho while Ben Chilwell will miss out when Chelsea take on Arsenal at the Emirates on Saturday.
Chelsea will hope to build on their win over West Ham United earlier this week when they make the short trip to the Emirates to lock horns with Arsenal on Saturday night. And, Frank Lampard has a fresh injury concern to contend with ahead of his side’s latest fixture.
Ben Chilwell sustained a sprain on his ankle during the game against West Ham on Monday and is a major doubt to feature at Arsenal. Lampard did provide an update on the Englishman during his pre-match press conference, while also speaking about Reece James and Hakim Ziyech.
The Chelsea boss said, “They [Chilwell and James] are both doubtful. I can’t give you an answer at the moment. I’m not sure if they will be fit for either game. Hakim Ziyech won’t be fit for Arsenal. He had an injury at the start of the season and he’s just got another muscle injury. You have to wait for it to recover.”
Considering the congestion of fixtures during the festive period, it is unlikely that Lampard will take a chance with the fitness of either Chilwell or James. As a result, Emerson Palmieri and Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta ought to feature as the full-back pairing against Arsenal.
At the heart of the Chelsea defence, there is no looking past Kurt Zouma and Thiago Silva, who have struck up a strong partnership this term. The defensive line will once again provide cover to Edouard Mendy in goal.
Up ahead in midfield. N’Golo Kante and Mason Mount are certainties for a game of this magnitude. The duo should have Mateo Kovacic for company against Arsenal, with the Croat pipping Jorginho and Kai Havertz to the third position in the middle of the park.
Ziyech’s continued absence in attack means there is no choice for Lampard but to field Timo Werner and Christian Pulisic as the two wide men, despite the former’s inconsistent displays lately. As for the central striker’s berth, Tammy Abraham could get the nod over Olivier Giroud to lead the line for Chelsea against Arsenal following a positive display against West Ham.
Chelsea Predicted XI: Mendy; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Silva, Emerson; Kovacic, Kante, Mount; Werner, Abraham, Pulisic