Tuesday, November 29, 2022

How Frank Lampard’s Chelsea Side Should Lineup Once The Premier League Season Restarts

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Nikhil Vinodh
Nikhil has been an avid Chelsea fan for as long as the concept of time has existed and rumours say that he even bleeds blue. Having lived in the UK for 3 years, Nikhil is said to have an excellent understanding of the atmosphere surrounding the English game. His role model is the greatest manager of all time - Jose Mourinho.

Before the start of the season, there was a general mood of uncertainty that seemed to be surrounding Chelsea Football Club, owing largely to the transfer ban as well as the managerial debacle involving Maurizio Sarri. Frank Lampard’s appointment didn’t do much to help their situation, and most of the faithful fans seemed to completely write this season off before it even began.

Turn the clock forward a few months and Chelsea are still in the top four, and Lampard will now be quietly confident that his squad can secure Champions League football next season. The Stamford Bridge hero has been through a variety of formation and personnel changes already this campaign. Still, with the entire squad now back together, the gaffer’s selection worries about deciding on Chelsea’s best XI are set to kick off yet again.

Let’s take a look at what Chelsea’s best XI would be when the season restarts:

Formation: 4-2-3-1

GK – Kepa Arrizabalaga

The Spanish stop-stopper was only brought back into the side by Lampard when the season was brought to a halt. His display in the win against Everton should have done enough to earn him the starting spot, meaning that Kepa is likely to be reinstated as first-choice again when the campaign resumes.

RB – Reece James

The prodigious full-back was the talk of the town prior to the suspension of the league, and Frank Lampard is expected to bet on the youngster’s talents again. James’ amazing crossing ability, added to the sheer composure he brings to the side, do make him a good option to start with.

Chelsea’s Best XI - Chelsea players training
Chelsea’s French defender Kurt Zouma (C) takes part in a training session at Chelsea’s Cobham training facility in Stoke D’Abernon, southwest of London on February 24, 2020, on the eve of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg football match against Bayern Munich. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

CB – Antonio Rudiger

The German international centre-half is undoubtedly the Blues’ best defender at this moment in time, meaning that it’s essential that Rudiger gets a start when the season resumes. The former Roma man’s height and physical prowess make him one of the few undroppable players in Lampard’s team.

CB – Andreas Christensen

Although players like Kurt Zouma and Fikayo Tomori will be looking to stake their claim, it’s essential that the Blues win their first fixture back in the league. To that end, bringing the usually dependable Dane into the side ahead of the other options would seem like a fairly sensible pick by Lampard.

LB – Cesar Azpilicueta

The Spanish veteran has proved over the first half of the season that he’s more than comfortable being deployed on the left side, as many often forget that he first made his Chelsea breakthrough on that flank. The skipper offers proper defensive positioning as well as decent attacking support.

CM – N’Golo Kante

The Frenchman is likely to return to the first-team picture when the Blues take on Aston Villa in their first game back, as Italian midfielder Jorginho will still be serving the second half of his two-match suspension. The Frenchman’s buzzing energy will be a massive asset to Lampard’s ambitions for the season.

CM – Mateo Kovacic

The former Real Madrid man has been widely accepted to be the Blues’ best player of the season so far and with good reason. The Croatian seems to have added an uncanny dribbling ability to his game over the last many months, effectively transforming him into the ideal Premier League midfielder.

RM – Willian

The Brazilian speedster is likely to depart Stamford Bridge at the end of the season. Still, considering all the things that this historic club has done for him over the years, Willian will probably stay and play out the remaining fixtures. His experience and attacking quality will be an asset for Lampard in the coming weeks.

Chelsea’s Best XI - Willian and Mount during a match
Chelsea’s English midfielder Mason Mount (R) and Chelsea’s Brazilian midfielder Willian (L) react to their defeat on the pitch after the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge in London on February 17, 2020. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP via GETTY)

CAM – Mason Mount

The Englishman is one of the highest-rated youngsters in the entirety of the Premier League, and he’s done enough to maintain that reputation so far this season. Having been called up to the England camp now as well, it’s highly unlikely that Lampard will drop Mount for the game against Aston Villa.

LM – Christian Pulisic

The American international was getting into a good run of form before an adductor injury forced him out of the side. Now back to full fitness, Pulisic could prove to be an excellent option down the flank for Lampard, owing to his amazing dribbling ability and sheer desire to succeed at Stamford Bridge.

ST – Tammy Abraham

Another one of the injury casualties from the first half of the season, Abraham’s back problem meant that Lampard was forced to bring Giroud into the side. With Tammy now back to full fitness, it would be quite surprising if the Englishman didn’t start against his former loan club when the season resumes.

Substitutes

GK – Willy Caballero

CB – Kurt Zouma

LB – Marcos Alonso

CM – Ruben Loftus-Cheek 

CM – Ross Barkley 

RW – Pedro

ST – Olivier Giroud

Chelsea’s Best XI - Chelsea Pitchmap

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