Frank Lampard might have to start Mason Mount as a winger again against Manchester United, as he confirmed Hakim Ziyech is still struggling with match fitness.
Billy Gilmour, Kepa Arrizabalaga and Petr Cech were the players ruled out for Saturday’s trip to Manchester by the Chelsea manager in his press conference today.
However, Lampard also suggested that, despite being physically fit, Ziyech would not be ready to start after missing out on the first few games due to a knee injury.
“It’s been very difficult to integrate him,” Lampard told the media (via Chelsea’s official website).
“We have a bubble here at Cobham so we can’t play against the Under-23s or bring over a lot of kids to replicate 11 v 11 games on big-sized pitches, which is generally where you would want someone to be working when they’ve not played for five or six months off.
“We miss that and we have to find the right way to give Hakim and others in the squad minutes as quickly as we can.”
If Lampard plans to use Kai Havertz as a No.10, Lampard will have two viable options to replace Ziyech: Mount or Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Based on what we have seen this season, Mount will likely play another game as a wide player.
The other two areas where Lampard would likely have to make some decisions are the right-back and midfield roles.
Should he go with the more attacking option with Reece James or the safer option with Cesar Azpilicueta?
While in midfield, either Jorginho or Mateo Kovacic will pair up with N’Golo Kante for the double-pivot.
Predicted line-up (4-2-3-1):
James – Silva – Zouma – Chilwell
Kante – Jorginho
Mount – Havertz – Pulisic