Chelsea host Aston Villa on Wednesday in the Premier League and it’s essential that they pick up three points in the Premier League clash.
The Blues sit fourth in the table after back-to-back league defeats, which means that fifth-placed Tottenham are now only six points adrift and they are flying under new manager Jose Mourinho.
Frank Lampard is now preparing his side to host 15th-placed Villa at Stamford Bridge and they need a win to get back on track.
Chelsea can beat newly-promoted Villa if they raise their game and recover from a mini blip that is natural with some younger players.
Here are the four changes that Lampard should make from the weekend’s 1-0 defeat to West Ham:
Keep Arrizabalaga (Goalkeeper)
Kepa is someone that has perhaps underperformed so far this season, but was impressive against West Ham and restored the faith of some supporters. He will hope for a quieter match against Villa, but will need to be switched on against them.
Reece James (Right-back)
James should keep his position at right-back and it would be a major sign of trust from Lampard if he does stick with the academy graduate. He’s slowly beginning to make the full-back position his own and his attacking edge should shine through against Villa, but he neds teammates to convert his crosses.
Kurt Zouma (Centre-back)
Chelsea have to stick with their partnership in the heart of defence and Zouma needs to try get back to his very best. He’s a powerhouse that should have a much easier time against Wesley Moraes than Michail Antonio.
Fikayo Tomori (Centre-back)
Tomori should keep his spot in midweek and his distribution from the back is likely to be key. He played against Villa last season in the Championship during his loan with Derby and the experience would be useful.
Cesar Azpilicueta (Left-back)
—Replace Emerson Palmieri—
Chelsea captain Azpilicueta should come into the team to give a little more defensive reassurance, while his presence would allow opposite full-back James to roam freely. There isn’t a huge amount of experience and bringing back in the leader after two straight league defeats makes sense.
Mateo Kovacic (Central midfielder)
Kovacic was one of the stronger performers in the disappointing defeat to West Ham and he should retain his spot. He’s beginning to hit top form in a Chelsea shirt and he should go hunting for a second club goal in the Villa contest.
Jorginho (Central midfielder)
Jorginho perhaps wasn’t at his commanding best at the weekend, but he’s an influential figure in the centre of the park and should be back to dictating play against Villa.
N’Golo Kante (Central midfielder
—Replace Mason Mount—
Unfortunately Mount wasn’t able to seize the opportunity against West Ham, regardless it seems a no-brainer to restore Kante to the team. Chelsea should slot back into a more conventional three man midfielder and Kante will add real energy to the side.
With the Pedro experiment failing, Willian should be back in the team and he should be fresh to cause havoc. The rapid speed machine could have a fascinating battle against Villa left-back Matt Targett and he can be trusted to do the defensive side of the game too.
Tammy Abraham (Centre-forward)
—Replace Olivier Giroud—
Abraham spent last season on loan at Villa firing them to promotion and he should led the line against them. Lampard has confirmed (Football.London) he will make the decision on whether the striker can play or not on Wednesday and fingers crossed for supporters he’s available to return from injury.
Christian Pulisic (Left-winger)
Pulisic is arguably the in-form player at Stamford Bridge right now and he’s the one Villa’s defence will fear. He does has the versatility to play anywhere across the frontline, but should cut in from the left flank and look to get on the scoresheet.