Chelsea are scheduled to face Reading at the Madejski Stadium during Sunday’s pre-season friendly. The Blues have endured a mixed pre-season campaign with only a 50 percent win rate from their four matches, but the players should come into the game with confidence after an impressive 2-1 triumph over Barcelona in Japan.
Callum Hudson-Odoi, Antonio Rudiger and Ruben Loftus-Cheek continue to remain long-term absentees with injury setbacks. N’Golo Kante and Willian, on the other hand, are still recovering from their minor knee and hamstring problems respectively.
Kepa Arrizabalaga had his first taste of pre-season football with the Blues against Barcelona. The Spain international is expected to start between the sticks for the game in Berkshire.
At the back, Cesar Azpilicueta and Emerson should continue to keep their positions on the right and left side of the defence, though we are anticipating a change at the heart of the backline.
Lampard has tested different combinations during the course of pre-season and he may consider fielding Kurt Zouma alongside David Luiz with Andreas Christensen dropping to the bench.
At the heart of the midfield, both Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic have earned plaudits for their pre-season showing and Lampard will surely want to give them as many minutes playing together, given Kante could be doubtful for the season opener.
In the attack front, no changes are likely from the Barcelona game with Christian Pulisic, Mason Mount and Pedro appearing the best combination at the present moment.
While Mount has excelled with his impressive link-up play from the number 10 role, Pulisic has likewise caught the eye with his pace and dribbling from the left wing, though he needs to improve on the finishing.
Upfront, Olivier Giroud could be handed the opportunity to lead the line with Michy Batshuayi and Tammy Abraham already getting their chances to feature from the off during pre-season.
Predicted Lineup: Kepa Arrizabalaga, Cesar Azpilicueta, Kurt Zouma, David Luiz, Emerson, Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic, Pedro, Mason Mount, Christian Pulisic, Olivier Giroud