Chelsea will be aiming to secure a second-straight win across all competitions when they entertain Brighton & Hove Albion in the Premier League on Saturday. The Blues cruised to a comfortable 7-1 triumph over Grimsby Town in the midweek League Cup third round tie and that was their first home victory under the guidance of manager Frank Lampard.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Achilles), Antonio Rudiger (groin) and Emerson (thigh) are certainly out of the Premier League contest. Meanwhile, Andreas Christensen has nearly recovered from a minor knee problem and he is likely to make the matchday squad alongside Olivier Giroud, who has recently been down with an illness.
Kepa Arrizabalaga was afforded with a rare break in midweek where Willy Caballero was preferred between the sticks. The Spaniard should return in goal for the weekend’s game and he will be hoping to secure the club’s first clean sheet of the season.
In the defence, a complete overhaul is expected from midweek. Reece James had a fantastic debut with one goal and two assists from the right-back spot but it is quite clear that Lampard continues to regard Cesar Azpilicueta as the first-choice for the league duties. The club-captain is expected to start.
At left-back, Marcos Alonso should make his second successive start for the club with Emerson unlikely to return from his injury until after the international break. At the heart of the defence, Kurt Zouma is likely to partner Fikayo Tomori. Christensen has returned to the mix after his knock last weekend, but Lampard may not risk him in the starting XI after admitting that the defender still has a bit of pain.
In the centre of the park, Jorginho is set to feature in the holding midfield role with N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic featuring ahead of him. Kante bagged a stunning solo goal during his injury comeback last weekend and the Frenchman will no doubt be offered with the freedom to press forward when the Blues are on the attack.
Mason Mount and Willian have been the preferred starters in the attacking midfield roles in the past two league games and Lampard is likely to stick with the same combination. Upfront, Tammy Abraham is set to lead the line once more. Michy Batshuayi impressed against Grimsby with a couple of goals but the Belgian may have to settle for a cameo role off the bench at best.
Here is how Chelsea could lineup…