WE ARE BACK!!!
More than 3 months after I last previewed a Chelsea game we are back! Much has happened over the last 3 months and the major event has been the Coronavirus but football without fans has returned and it is not as bad as expected. The EA fan chants are sufficient enough and if the game is entertaining then one almost forgets whether there are fans in the in the stands or not. Friday evening saw Lampard take charge of his first Zoom call press conference where he answered questions about the game on Sunday and football in general.
Chelsea have played two games plus a game between the squads in preparation for the resumption of the season and each game has helped develop the team. The intra squad friendly was more for physical fitness and we then played a game against Reading where we beat them 1-0 thanks to a goal from Pedro. We then also played a friendly against QPR which we won 7-1 thanks to doubles form Loftus-Cheek and Gilmour, with the other three goals from Willian, Mason Mount and Giroud.
Lampard was asked about Werner during the press conference and the manager seemed excited to work with the player highlighting that Werner’s humility was particularly interesting. Lampard stated that the atmosphere would be something that the players would have to get over as all the fans would still be watching the game. Lampard stayed quiet over other possible transfers and said that Chelsea will want.
Chelsea Team Preview
Lampard stated that Tomori would be out for around 10 days with a slight muscle injury while Hudson-Odoi needed match fitness after recovering from a recent injury. Everyone else is available. Lampard was also asked about RLC and he stated that Loftus-Cheek was fit and ready to go but would have to be managed. I think Kepa will start in goal, with Reece James at right back, and Azpilicueta at left back. Christensen and Zouma should be our two centre backs. Our midfield 3 should be Gilmour, Kovacic, and Mount with Jorginho suspended. Our front three should be Pulisic, Tammy, and Pedro. Another key change for the games ahead is that each team will be allowed 5 subs with 9 players on the bench so expect to see many players get minutes especially players like Tino Anjorin, Maatsen etc if the score is favourable. Expect to see Loftus-Cheek feature from the bench.
Aston Villa Preview
Aston Villa have already played a game of Premier League football as they luckily managed a draw against Sheffield on Wednesday. They had a fully fit squad as well and expect the likes of Grealish to cause problems if given a chance. Samatta and and Trezeguet are also players to keep an eye on.
Starting XI Prediction
Chelsea are almost back on the pitch and I can’t wait, COME ON YOU BLUES!!!