With the international break now over, it’s time for Chelsea to get back to business in the Premier League, and the Blues will start by welcoming Southampton to Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Frank Lampard’s squad picked up a few minor injuries over the interval, but the time off has also given the likes of Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic time to focus on getting back fit, so there’s reason to believe that Chelsea are stronger now than they were for the 4-0 victory over Crystal Palace.
Let’s take a look at the team Lampard should pick.
Kepa Arrizabalaga (GK) – Summer signing Édouard Mendy is out with an injury he picked up on international duty, meaning the under-pressure Arrizabalaga could make a return after impressing with Spain.
Reece James (RB) – James put in a statement performance for England (let’s not talk about the red card) and he should be given the chance to continue his fine form at the weekend.
Kurt Zouma (CB) – Zouma is firmly back in favour these days and deservedly so. He’s impressed at the back and even managed to get on the scoresheet last time out against Palace.
Fikayo Tomori (CB) – Thiago Silva won’t be ready after a long trip back from the Brazil camp, so expect Tomori to be given his first league start of the season.
César Azpilicueta (LB) – Ben Chilwell is unlikely to start, and with Lampard unimpressed with both Marcos Alonso and Emerson, Azpilicueta should be given the nod on the left.
Jorginho (CM) – After netting two penalties against Palace, Jorginho has earned his place in the starting lineup.
Mateo Kovačić (CM) – N’Golo Kanté should be given a rest for this one in anticipation of Tuesday’s meeting with Sevilla. The Frenchman’s muscle injury is not thought to be serious, but Kovačić can offer some cover until Kanté is 100%.
Callum Hudson-Odoi (RM) – Don’t be surprised if this is Mason Mount, who enjoyed an impressive international break, but Hudson-Odoi should retain his spot in the team, with his explosiveness and creativity likely to be key.
Kai Havertz (AM) – Havertz is really finding his groove, and his performances with Germany this week proved that he’s a man in form.
Timo Werner (LM) – Expect Werner to start out on the left, but with the kind of names Lampard will have on the bench, the German might get a turn at striker at some point in this one.
Tammy Abraham (ST) – There’s a good chance Abraham will start, but expect him to be withdrawn in favour of one of Christian Pulisic or Hakim Ziyech, who are both expected to be fit enough to make the bench.