Frank Lampard said every Chelsea player is fit for Saturday’s home game against Leeds United but refused to give assurance to anyone about the starting spots.
With everyone ready to play, it will certainly be interesting to see the set of players Lampard considers as his strongest eleven.
Chelsea will have to play against Krasnodar on Tuesday, but with the qualification and the top spot of the group in the bag, Lampard has no reason not to play his best team at the weekend.
Some players put on impressive displays against Sevilla on Tuesday, particularly Olivier Giroud.
However, Lampard said he can’t really guarantee the starting spot to any player as he wants to keep the competitiveness within the team.
“I don’t think it’s the case of giving him [Olivier Giroud] or any player assurance of game time,” he told the reporters in his pre-match press conference on Friday (via Chelsea’s official YouTube channel).
So, how will the Chelsea line-up look like on Saturday?
Silva and Zouma return to the team but Giroud keeps his place ahead of Abraham
N’Golo Kante and Timo Werner have featured in every league games so far and considering they were rested against Sevilla, Lampard will likely rely on them again.
The back five of Edouard Mendy, Ben Chilwell, Kurt Zouma, Thiago Silva and Reece James have had an impressive run.
Apart from Mendy, Lampard completely changed the rest of his defence against Sevilla, but he would likely revert to his main defence.
In midfield, Lampard would have to decide who will as two No.8s in front of Kante.
The more attacking option would be Mason Mount and Kai Havertz, however, Mount and Mateo Kovacic pairing has worked really well recently.
For the right side of the front three, Hakim Ziyech is the obvious option, given he is the only natural right winger in the team.
Callum Hudson-Odoi, Christian Pulisic, and probably Timo Werner would have to compete for the spot on the left flank, however.
Lampard could deploy Werner as a No.9 which would allow Pulisic or Hudson-Odoi on the left but Giroud and Tammy Abraham have also made their cases for the starting spots.
Predicted Chelsea line-up v Leeds (4-3-3):
James – Silva – Zouma – Chilwell
Kovacic – Kante – Mount
Ziyech – Giroud – Werner