Chelsea will look to kickstart 2021 in style when they play host to Manchester City in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon.
After tasting defeat at Arsenal, the Blues bounced back with a hard-fought draw at home to Aston Villa and Frank Lampard’s side will want to get back to winning ways when they take on the Citizens in a crunch clash in the top half of the table.
Lampard has confirmed Reece James has been ruled out due to injury. However, the Blues boss is hopeful Hakim Ziyech will be in contention to start on Sunday after working his way back to fitness.
Lampard faces some tough decisions as he’ll be desperate to start the year with a bang and will not want to let the disappointment from the defeat to Arsenal fester for any longer.
It’s hard to tell exactly where the changes will be made, but what’s certain is he’ll likely bring first-team regular starters Thiago Silva and Kurt Zouma back into the fold after Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger were noticeably poor at the back.
Despite the fact he has failed to keep a clean sheet in his past two appearances, new summer recruit Edouard Mendy will keep his place in goal at the Bridge behind a back four of Ben Chilwell, Cesar Azpilicueta, Silva and Zouma.
Lampard will probably deploy a midfield three consisting of Mason Mount, Jorginho and N’Golo Kante.
Maybe Ziyech could come back in, but Callum Hudson-Odoi has been in such fine form in recent weeks, we’ve given the Blues academy graduate our backing, with the ever-reliable Christian Pulisic keeping his place on the left wing.
Upfront, things get a little more interesting, as Tammy Abraham is likely to lead the line, which means there is no room for Olivier Giroud despite the Frenchman getting on the scoresheet against Villa. Both Giroud and Timo Werner will have to settle for a spot on the bench, such is the strength in Lampard’s squad.