Timo Werner and Kai Havertz will return but Reece James will miss out when Chelsea welcome Manchester City to Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Chelsea will be desperate to arrest their recent downslide and bounce back to winning ways when they play hosts to Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on Sunday evening. And, Frank Lampard has a fresh injury concern to contend with ahead of his side’s latest fixture.
The Chelsea boss confirmed during his pre-match press conference that Reece James will not be involved against Manchester City due to his recovery from a minor hamstring complaint. However, in some good news, Hakim Ziyech is in contention to feature, as confirmed by Lampard.
“Reece James is out, he’s got a small hamstring problem. He [Ziyech] is fit to train and has trained the last two or three days so I’ll have to make the decision on whether he’s ready to start.”
The absence of James means that captain Cesar Azpilicueta has now become an automatic pick for the right-back slot. On the opposite flank, Ben Chilwell picks himself ahead of Emerson Palmieri and Marcos Alonso while at the heart of the Chelsea defence, Thiago Silva and Kurt Zouma should return after being rested last time out. In goal, there is no looking past Edouard Mendy.
Up ahead in midfield, the key decision will once again be pertaining to who among Kai Havertz, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic gets the nod to partner N’Golo Kante and Mason Mount in the three-man unit. Jorginho failed to impress against Aston Villa while Kovacic was underwhelming the last time he started.
As a result, Havertz seems to be best placed to return to the starting lineup. As iterated already, Kante and Mount are certainties in the middle of the park, with the former sitting at the base of the Chelsea midfield, while Mount and Havertz will provide the forward thrust.
Finally, in attack, it is likely that Lampard will give Ziyech ample time to regain sharpness amid the fixture congestion. As a result, he has to choose between Christian Pulisic, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Timo Werner to be the two wide men against Manchester City.
Ahead of the game, Lampard has imposed his faith in Werner and it looks like the German forward is primed to return to the starting lineup, with Christian Pulisic taking up the other wide berth. As for the central striker, Olivier Giroud should get the nod over Tammy Abraham to lead the line for Chelsea against Manchester City.
Chelsea Predicted XI: Mendy; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Silva, Chilwell; Havertz, Kante, Mount; Pulisic, Giroud, Werner