Frank Lampard has just held his press conference ahead of tomorrow’s game against Manchester United, and the Chelsea boss gave some extremely positive injury news.
After months of battling to get his whole squad ready to play, he confirmed that the only injury issues were a shoulder problem for Kepa – who wouldn’t have started tomorrow in any case – and a long term issue for Billy Gilmour.
He also indicated that Hakim Ziyech, despite having recovered from his injury and featured off the bench twice this week, was not yet sharp enough to start games just yet.
That still leaves an almost full complement of players to pick from, and means Lampard has serious selection dilemmas.
His side kept an impressive clean sheet against Sevilla on Tuesday night, but looked tired and sluggish in attack. Mason Mount, Kai Havertz and Timo Werner in particular looked off the pace after a punishing run of games.
There’s no way that all three will miss out, but there are likely to be some changes. Tammy Abraham, Mateo Kovacic and Cesar Azpilicueta must all feel like they’re in with a great chance of playing after missing out on Tuesday, and Olivier Giroud and Callum Hudson-Odoi are also likely to be in the manager’s thoughts when considering his lineup.
Ultimately, despite looking off the pace on Tuesday, it’s hard to imagine Lampard dropping his big summer signings Timo Werner and Kai Havertz.
Mason Mount could miss out for Mateo Kovacic, with Werner moving back out wide and Abraham or Giroud playing up front. Or perhaps we will see a 2 striker system used.
Whatever Lampard decides, there are no easy answers, and a defeat will see his decisions questioned no matter how reasonable they may seem now.