Chelsea’s full-back pairing Reece James and Ben Chillwell should start v Man United - Opinion
Chelsea travel to Manchester United on Saturday evening for a huge showdown in the Premier League and manager Frank Lampard will be mulling over his team selection.
The Blues have had an underwhelming start to the new league season with eight points from the opening five games, which is why the weekend feels like a real chance to lay down a marker.
Chelsea go into the contest off the back of a goalless draw with Sevilla in midweek in the Champions League group stages.
They may have looked a little toothless in attack for a change, but the most pleasing element was a much more defensively sound performance and a rare clean sheet.
Lampard started with a full-back combination of Reece James and Ben Chilwell against Sevilla, which is a partnership that should now be used for the first time in the Premier League.
There may be a temptation to recall club captain Cesar Azpilicueta to the XI against United due to his experience and defensive qualities, plus he’s someone that will always give 100 per cent on the pitch.
But Chelsea have a long-term solution in the full-back areas that they need to give a chance to develop and that’s why the English duo must start together for the first time in the league.
James, 20, was brilliant at right-back in midweek against Sevilla and deserves to keep his starting place.
He’s arguably the best crosser of a ball in the first-team squad at Stamford Bridge and his confidence will be at an all-time high after recently making his England debut, so he should be given the chance to impress against Man United.
England international Chilwell is a left-sided flyer that brings so much to the team in an attacking capacity, while with his back to goal he’s improving defensively and is an upgrade on the current options in the squad.
The 23-year-old left-back already looks like he’s been a Chelsea player for years despite only joining in the summer from Leicester City and he’s looked extremely impressive in his five appearances so far this campaign.