Chelsea face FC Krasnodar in the Champions League on Tuesday night having already qualified for the knockout stage of the competition after their 2-1 win away at Group E rivals Rennes last month.
The Blues are back in action this evening, as they welcome the Russian club to Stamford Bridge for their final Champions League game in the group stages.
Frank Lampard has revealed that Hakim Ziyech has been ruled out of the Champions League clash due to a hamstring injury, whilst Callum Hudson-Odoi suffered a similar injury in training.
Lampard will most likely take the opportunity to rotate his squad ahead of a busy schedule, as he confirmed both Kepa Arrizabalaga and Billy Gilmour will start in the pre-match press conference.
Here is our predicted starting line-up for tonight’s game against Krasnodar in the Champions League, which sees the Blues boss make nine changes to the team that thumped Leeds United.
Aside from Ziyech and Hudson-Odoi, Chelsea have a clean bill of health, and Lampard is expected to ring several changes for this dead rubber, with the likes of Timo Werner, Thiago Silva and Kurt Zouma receiving well-deserved rests.
This means that Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger, Emerson Palmieri and club captain Cesar Azpilicueta are likely to start, which means there is no room for Reece James, who registered an assist against Marcelo Bielsa’s side at Stamford Bridge.
N’Golo Kante and Mason Mount may make way for a midfield trio consisting of Mateo Kovacic, Jorginho and Gilmour, who will receive his first start of the season after his knee surgery in the summer.
Ziyech actually offered very little against Leeds, so switching Kai Havertz to the right wing and bringing fit-again Christian Pulisic in on the right should be a tempting option, whilst Olivier Giroud is likely to lead the line.
Maybe Tammy Abraham could come in, but Giroud has been in such impressive form in recent weeks that we reckon that Lampard will stick with the Frenchman upfront.