Chelsea’s squad for the season is all but set, and having seen Frank Lampard’s lineup in the final preseason game, we can be pretty certain of the starting XI too.
We feel like we know which team he will pick on Sunday, but there are plenty of players set to just miss out who will feel they have a very strong chance of forcing their way into his first team quickly if the incumbents in their position don’t perform. Here are three of them.
First up is Ross Barkley, who has performed so well in preseason that he can feel very aggrieved if he isn’t in Lampard’s starting team. Mason Mount may get the nod this week, but if he doesn’t perform straight away, Ross can expect to be drafted in almost immediately.
Next is Marcos Alonso. He has battled with Emerson for the left back spot since the Italian joined the club, and while the newer arrival appears to be the clear front runner in Lampard’s thinking, we’ve seen over their season and a half of rivalry that there’s not much between them in terms of ability. Alonso will get his chance, maybe sooner rather than later.
Finally, either Andreas Christensen or Kurt Zouma will partner David Luiz at Old Trafford. Whoever misses out, however, will feel that they can earn that slot back easily, especially given how badly the team has been defending. Neither has really performed this summer, so it seems likely both will get a chance before too long.