Frank Lampard has hinted that his team selections for Chelsea’s final two friendlies will be an indication of his starting line-up for the opening game against Manchester United.
Chelsea will travel to Austria to play RB Salzburg and then to Germany to play Borussia Monchengladbach.
And Blues boss Lampard says he is closer to deciding his first-choice side for the coming season.
Speaking to Chelsea TV, he said: “I’m getting closer – and these two games this week will be really important.
“I’ve tried to mix minutes up and get everyone to a good level – I think it’s important for competition – and now we start to hone down on more minutes for certain players and we’ll work towards the team.”
Lampard certainly has options in midfield, with Ross Barkley and Mason Mount impressing during pre-season.
Mount is back at Chelsea after spending last season on loan under Lampard at Derby County.
The youngster scored twice in Sunday’s friendly at Reading, where Barkley scored with a cracking free-kick.
“It’s a good problem for me to have,” said Lampard.
“It’s great to have Mason back, bringing his qualities. It’s great to have Ross in there.
“It doesn’t mean they can’t play together…that’s something for me and it’s a nice problem to have to sort out.”