Chelsea’s starting line-up for Sunday’s vital London derby against high-flying Tottenham should be a relatively easy selection process for boss Frank Lampard.
The recent fine form means the team moreorless picks itself despite the vast array of talent at Lampard’s disposal, with the biggest question mark coming up front where he has to decide to continue with the more attacking option of Tammy Abraham as the central spearhead, with Timo Werner out wide.
Winger Hakim Ziyech will no doubt return to the starting line-up after his late substitute appearance in the midweek Champions League win over Rennes, so Lampard’s biggest quandy is whether Callum-Hudson retains his place out wide and Abraham drops to the bench with Werner playing centrally.
The back five of goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, centre-backs Kurt Zouma and Thiago Silva, with England duo Reece James and Ben Chilwell as the full-backs, seems like a no-brainer. The experience and knowhow of Cesar Azpilicueta could see the Spaniard come in on the right, but that would be a surprise given the form and attacking threat posed by James.
N’Golo Kante was another to benefit from being on the bench in midweek so will come in as the holding midfielder, while Mateo Kovacic and Mason Mount are set to carry on building their ever-growing understanding in front of the Frenchman.
The fit-again Christian Pulisic will be among the substitutes and the American could well be a match-winner against a tiring defence in the latter stages, while the creativity of Kai Havertz will also be a wonderful option from the bench.
Predicted Chelsea XI: Mendy; James, Silva, Zouma, Chilwell; Kante, Kovacic, Mount; Ziyech, Werner, Abraham.