Chelsea return after an unprecedented break from Premier League action to host Morecambe in the FA Cup third round this weekend.

Frank Lampard has been gifted a rare seven-day interval between fixtures, allowing to reboot his squad and refresh his ideas.

Although all his players will be well-rested, the Blues boss will likely offer a number of senior debuts, alongside a chance for those on the fringe, to impress in front of their League Two opponents.

Goal reported that academy trio Tino Anjorin, Henry Lawrence and Lewis Bate have all been training with the first team, providing an opportunity to prove themselves to the Chelsea hierarchy.

Chelsea v West Ham: Premier League 2
KINGSTON UPON THAMES, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 14: Henry Lawrence of Chelsea takes a throw-in during the Chelsea v West Ham Premier League 2 match at Kingsmeadow on September 14, 2020 in Kingston upon Thames, England. (Photo by Clive Howes – Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Lampard’s only major absentees are Reece James, who is suffering from a hamstring problem, and Andreas Christensen, who picked up a knock in the draw with Aston Villa.


The Dane was a probable candidate to start against the Shrimps, therefore Lampard will have to look for a different dish to serve in defence.

Chelsea v Aston Villa - Premier League
LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 28: Andreas Christensen of Chelsea battles for possession with Jack Grealish of Aston Villa during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge on December 28, 2020 in London, England. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Expect a very alternative back five, with Kepa Arrizabalaga and Antonio Rudiger offered a rare run out despite Sky Sports suggesting they were the pair likeliest to leave in the transfer window.

Emerson will likely get the nod at left-back, whilst Kurt Zouma will probably partner Rudiger in the centre. Despite playing most of the season in midfield for the U23s, Lawrence’s versatility has thrown him into a variety of positions, including right-back.

Across the midfield, Lampard will look to Billy Gilmour for his controlling and calm presence, alongside Bate, who was recently nominated for the PL2’s Player of the Month award. Ironically, £71 million man Kai Havertz (BBC Sport) will be the most senior of the three and will be hoping to rid his poor form with a commanding display.

Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League 2
KINGSTON UPON THAMES, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 14: Lewis Bate of Chelsea and Jack Clarke of Tottenham Hotspur during the Premier League 2 match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Kingsmeadow on December 14, 2020 in Kingston upon Thames, England. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Anjorin has already made his Champions League bow this campaign and will look to add youthful exuberance on the flanks alongside Callum Hudson-Odoi. We have seen flashes of Hudson-Odoi, coming off the bench at Arsenal and against Manchester City to score, therefore the stage is set to show his skills from the off.

LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 30: Chelsea goal scorers, (L-R) Tino Anjorin, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Billy Gilmour pose for a photo with the trophy following the FA Youth Cup Final second leg between Chelsea and Arsenal at Emirates Stadium on April 30, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Tammy Abraham should lead the line and top off this fledgling side that will be expected see the job through.

Predicted Chelsea XI (4-3-3): Kepa; Lawrence, Zouma, Rudiger, Emerson; Havertz, Gilmour, Bate; Hudson-Odoi, Abraham, Anjorin.

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