Chelsea face Southampton at Stamford Bridge on Saturday as the Premier League action resumes. But boss Frank Lampard has been hit with fresh concerns after Edouard Mendy and Ben Chilwell suffered injuries on international duty – and Express Sport is on hand to give you the latest team news.
Lampard’s side will want to continue the momentum after thrashing Crystal Palace 4-0 in their last outing to end a run of two league games without a win.
But the injuries to Mendy and Chilwell will leave Chelsea below full strength as the manager weighs up his options for Saturday’s visit of the Saints.
But there is some brighter news for Lampard, with Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech potentially available to help kick-start Chelsea’s season.
Goalkeeper Mendy suffered a thigh injury while on international duty with Senegal last week, and was expected to be out for around 10 days – making him a major doubt for this weekend’s game.
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Senegal released a statement last Friday that read: “Mendy sustained an injury to the right thigh that occurred during the training session on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 and has undergone a medical examination at the hospital in Rabat.”
Mendy was signed this summer to provide competition for Kepa Arrizabalaga, who was dropped after several high-profile errors last season – but the Spain keeper could now be handed a recall against Southampton.
Kepa kept a clean sheet for Spain against Portugal this week and will relish the opportunity to stake a claim for the No1 spot.
Chilwell left the England camp this week suffering a foot injury, and like Mendy faces a race to be fit ahead of Saturday’s game.
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If Chilwell doesn’t make it, Emerson would take his place at left-back, having leaped ahead of Marcos Alonso in the pecking order.
Chelsea’s defence would most likely be completed by captain Cesar Azpilicueta at right-back, with Thiago Silva and Kurt Zouma in the heart of the defence.
Jorginho and N’Golo Kante look likely to start in Chelsea’s midfield, with Kai Havertz ahead of them in the No10 role.
Christian Pulisic looks set to make his first start of the season on the left of Chelsea’s attack, after coming on against Palace following his recovery from a hamstring injury.
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Hakim Ziyech is also expected to be available after making his comeback from injury in Morroco’s 3-1 win over Senegal last week.
However, the winger looks more likely to be an option from the bench, with Tammy Abraham leading the line and Timo Werner playing on the right, after the Germany striker recovered from illness which kept him out of his country’s recent fixtures with Turkey and Ukraine.
It woule be harsh for Mason Mount to again be omitted after the midfielder scored the winner for England against Belgium on Sunday, but Chelse ahave several attacking options and, like Ziyech, he could be asked to make an impact from the bench.
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