- Thiago Silva is a major doubt for the clash at St James’ Park
- Havertz returns to training after testing positive for Coronavirus
- Lampard confirms Pulisic absence
Chelsea are set to lock horns with Newcastle United in a tricky Saturday early kick-off tie that may see them ascend to the top of the table temporarily with a win.
Doubts have been cast over the past few days on the squad solidity of the West London club up against the Tyne side, with some key figures very likely to be out of action.
The Blues will have first-choice goalkeeper, Edouard Mendy available tomorrow after sterling back-to-back clean sheets for Senegal during their AFCON qualifier wins against Guinea-Bissau.
Andreas Christensen is likely to partner Kurt Zouma at the heart of the Chelsea defence with the latter coming on as a substitute for Raphael Varane during France’s UEFA Nations League clash against Sweden.
Ben Chilwell returned to Cobham yesterday and is fit for action after being left out of England’s squad against Iceland following a back spasm suffered in the Three Lions loss against Belgium.
Recce James returned to Chelsea earlier than most of his colleagues who received international call-ups, with the 20-year-old taking part in only England’s 3-0 friendly win against the Republic of Ireland and missing two of the Three Lions UEFA Nations League ties through suspension.
N’golo Kante and Jorginho are expected to play crucial roles at the middle at St James’ Park following brilliant performances by the duo for their respective countries, as youngster, Mason Mount is likely to start ahead of Havertz who tested negative for coronavirus earlier this week and may likely come on as a substitute tomorrow.
With the confirmed absence of Pulisic by Frank Lampard for tomorrow’s clash, 24-year-old striker Timo Werner will likely operate from the left-hand side of attack, a role he’s used to since his days at former club RB Leipzig.
Hakim Ziyech is also set to push the Blues attack from the right-hand side after an incredibly brilliant outing for his country Morocco in their AFCON qualifier wins against Central African Republic.
The 27-year-old is expected to be pivotal if the Blues are to triumph over Newcastle and is expected to lead the attack alongside Werner and Tammy Abraham, with the 23-year-old Englishman facing renewed pressure after amazing performances by Olivier Giroud during Les Blues’ UEFA Nations League matches against Portugal and Sweden.
While its evident that Frank Lampard favors Tammy Abraham in the pecking order ahead of Olivier Giroud, calls by the 34-year-old’s agent for more playing time for his client has raised concerns as to the English manager’s preference.
Chelsea will likely play without veteran defender, Thiago Silva at the heart of the defence, following his late arrival back from international duties with the Brazilian national team.
Christian Pulisic is set to miss the clash after confirmation by the Blues boss. According to Lampard, Pulisic is back at Cobham and is en route a blissful recovery but made it clear he’ll be missing in action.
What Formation will Chelsea Play?
Lampard will likely continue with the blues’ usual 4-2-3-1 formation with hopes of maintaining fluidity in the team and both full-backs providing more attacking threats.
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