Chelsea suffered their eighth defeat of the current Premier League season this weekend as they went down 1-0 to Newcastle United away from home and they could very well suffer their ninth loss in midweek.
Chelsea are undefeated in their last 9 home matches against Arsenal in all competitions meaning Lampard’s men should go into this match as the more confident side. But under Mikel Arteta, Arsenal are playing some really fine football and with Chelsea failing to create enough chances during their past couple of matches, there’s every chance that the Gunners might perform the ideal smash and grab.
Chelsea team news vs Arsenal:
Kurt Zouma started on the bench vs the Magpies during the weekend but the academy graduate is expected to return back to the starting XI alongside Rudiger meaning Christensen drops back to the bench.
The Chelsea manager lost Reece James to an ankle injury during their previous loss and right now it looks like the player is ruled out of the derby.
But even if James is fit enough to start we don’t think the manager will risk using him more so since Azpilicueta is available to him. So with Reece James out of action, Azpilicueta will play at right-back while Emerson starts on the opposite side.
Mason Mount has been playing in midfield for Chelsea during the past couple of matches and it’s safe to say the youngster has not made the same sort of impact.
And owing to this, we think the manager will give Mount a much-deserved rest as Mateo Kovacic comes into the starting line-up alongside N’Golo Kante and Jorginho.
Christian Pulisic still remains sidelined with an injury meaning Callum Hudson-Odoi will get one more start in the attacking department most probably on the left flank.
Tammy Abraham has been a shining light for Chelsea this season but some reports claim Michy Batshuayi could be used since Lampard will be looking to rotate his squad.
But we don’t think the Blues manager will risk making such a huge change against a side like Arsenal. At best, the Belgium international could come on in the second half as a substitute.
Chelsea’s predicted line-up vs Arsenal:
Possible starting XI: Arrizabalaga; Rudiger, Zouma, Emerson, Azpiliceuta; Jorginho, Kovacic, N’Golo Kante; Hudson-Odoi, Abraham, Willian.
Injury updates via Premier Injuries.