Lampard may have to field new defensive line against Newcastle amid fitness concerns
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard could have to field an arguably weaker back four for the trip to Newcastle United amid a couple of fitness concerns.
The Blues made just one personnel change in the back four in their last three games (Cesar Azpilicueta for Reece James) and the consistency paid off with three wins and two clean sheets.
Lampard would certainly like to keep the same set of defenders for the away game against Newcastle this weekend. If it isn’t broken, why fix it?
However, it may not be possible, or at least very risky.
Ben Chilwell suffered a lower back injury in England’s defeat to Belgium and, while it is reportedly a minor injury (Evening Standard), Lampard might consider resting the left-back for next week’s big games against Rennes and Tottenham Hotspur.
Although, alternatives Emerson Palmieri and Marcos Alonso have not been convincing this season.
Another player who could potentially be rested is Thiago Silva.
The 36-year-old has been a massive presence in Chelsea’s defence this season. But he will have fitness and similar travel problems as in the previous international break.
This will pose an identical dilemma for Lampard.
Bear in mind, Chelsea also secured a convincing 4-0 victory against Crystal Palace before the break, only to drop two points against Southampton with two key players missing in Silva and goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.
Will Lampard rest Chilwell and Silva and take the risk at St James’ Park?