Predicted Chelsea line-up v West Ham: James out; Havertz dropped
Not having to worry about a midweek fixture, Chelsea manager Frank Lampard is expected to pick the strongest possible line-up to face West Ham.
There has been a lot of talk about Chelsea having the best squad in the Premier League.
But the last two defeats proved that, like many clubs, Chelsea struggle to cope with injuries.
On Friday, Lampard confirmed that Hakim Ziyech and Callum Hudson-Odoi were back in training, but it remains unclear whether the wingers are ready to start.
And now they could face another big injury blow amid the busy set of festive fixtures.
According to a report from the Telegraph, Reece James could sit out the next few games after struggling with a knee problem while waiting for a decision about potential surgery.
Obviously, Chelsea still have Cesar Azpilicueta to replace him, but James’ exceptional crossing ability which has been one of the focal points of their attack will be a big miss.
Apart from James, however, Lampard is expected to stick with Edouard Mendy, Kurt Zouma, Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell at the back.
In midfield, the Chelsea manager once again must make a decision whether to go with Mateo Kovacic or Kai Havertz.
The former is going to be the safer option. However, despite recent good performances, the latter is still one of the most talented attackers at Chelsea.
While midfield workhorses N’Golo Kante and Mason Mount are likely to keep their spots.
For the front three, it depends on whether Ziyech and Hudson-Odoi are fit enough.
Otherwise, Lampard doesn’t really have many options but to stick with Timo Werner and Christian Pulisic as wingers and either Olivier Giroud or Tammy Abraham as the No.9.
Predicted Chelsea 4-3-3 line-up v West Ham:
Azpilicueta – Zouma – Silva – Chilwell
Kovacic – Kante – Mount
Werner – Giroud – Pulisic