Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has confirmed he will be without several key players to face Bournemouth on Saturday, as he looks for his players to bounce back from the disappointing mid-week loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
The 41-year-old manager has confirmed he will be without four players, which could in turn affect what formation he plays and who he picks to face the Cherries.
Wingers Christian Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi, along with midfielder N’Golo Kante and striker Tammy Abraham all remain on the sidelines for the trip to Dean Court.
Pulisic, who has not featured since New Year’s Day, is still trying to overcome a groin injury, and Hudson-Odoi is recovering from a hamstring injury, while Kante is working on recovering from an adductor injury.
Lampard also revealed that Abraham’s injury is frustrating because the player appeared to be on course to return to the starting line up only to then get injured again.
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“Pulisic is still injured and Kante is still injured,” said Lampard.
“Abraham is injured with the same problem as before.
“We’re trying to find a solution with him.
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“It’s frustrating that he has come in and out somewhat but he’s injured for tomorrow.
“Callum is another one who isn’t fit this weekend.”
However, Lampard has been given a slight boost with the return of Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
He was an unused substitute during the Blues win over Tottenham last weekend and while he wasn’t in the squad to take on Bayern, he could get some minutes today.
“Ruben is in the squad again for tomorrow,” Lampard said.
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“We haven’t had great opportunity to get Ruben as much game time as much as we want. I felt against Tottenham he could be an impact of some sort in the game but Bayern was a different animal of a game so I took a different decision for him to get some good training in during the week.
“It would mean a lot to have him back. It’s a lonely place being out for that long. He was in a very good run of form last year. I thought he was playing really well and you could see his development and confidence of getting in the first team.
“He hasn’t kicked a ball for me but with the ability he’s got, he’s one of the most exciting English midfield players in the Premier League because of the attributes he has so we all want him back.”
And while Lampard is expected to change his starting XI that he has kept unchanged for the last two games, the formation is expected to remain the same to accommodate Olivier Giroud up front.
Lampard is expected to keep Willy Caballero in goal over Kepa Arrizabalaga, with Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger ahead of him in central defence.
Marcos Alonso is expected to keep his place at left wing-back, with Reece James on the opposite flank.
Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic are likely to continue as Lampard’s two deep-lying central midfielders, however, Barkley and Mason Mount are expected to be dropped to the bench.
That would see Willian and Pedro come in the more advanced midfielder roles with Giroud still left to lead the line.
Chelsea predicted line-up vs Bournemouth – Premier League
Chelsea (3-4-2-1): Caballero; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger; Alonso, Jorginho, Kovacic, James; Pedro, Willian; Giroud
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