Chelsea begin their Premier League season against Brighton this evening with Frank Lampard facing a number of decisions to make on his starting line-up. The Blues have spent over £300million this summer and could hand debuts to a number of stars.
Chelsea will be without three of their new stars with Hakim Ziyech and Ben Chilwell injured and Thiago Silva in quarantine.
Ziyech suffered a knee injury in the friendly against Brighton and will miss the start of the signing.
Chilwell is still struggling with a heel complaint.
The Blues could pick Cesar Azpilicueta and Christian Pulisic although they have only returned to training in recent days.
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Mateo Kovacic will not feature as he is suspended leaving Lampard with few options in midfield.
Lampard has defended how much Chelsea have spent and said it is realistically the only way to compete in the Premier League.
He said: “The reality is, with probably the exception of Leicester which was an incredible story, most clubs that win the league in the modern day have recruited well and at a high level money wise.
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“You can go through the Liverpool players: Van Dijk, Alisson, Fabinho, Keita, Mane, Salah – incredible players that came at a very high price. So Liverpool have done it, and they’ve done it over a period of time.
“It’s par for the course, we all know that. There’s no point doing the maths for it.
“We know Liverpool have spent at a high level, we know they have an incredible coach, we know they have incredible players, and the really smart thing they’ve done is believe in the coach and the system for a number of years.
“In terms of where we are at, we have to not focus too much on what other teams, managers, supporters, radio, media are saying. We have to worry about what we can do on the training pitch. That’s the only thing that will define us.
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“I’m really pleased with the business we’ve done, and now I want us to be excited as a team to work hard and get results.”
The match between Chelsea and Brighton kicks off at 8.15pm this evening.
Chelsea predicted line-up vs Brighton
Kepa, James, Zouma, Rudiger, Alonso, Kante, Loftus-Cheek, Mount, Havertz, Pulisic, Werner.
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