Chelsea vs Newcastle United depth chart: N’Golo Kante fears as Frank Lampard has midfield issue

Not long to go, Chelsea fans, it’s almost over. Frank Lampard’s team went into this international break with four wins on the bounce and will be looking to continue building that momentum ahead of a busy spell that starts with Saturday’s game at home to Newcastle United and is followed by visits to Ajax and Burnley.
Yet the head coach has a number of injury concerns going into the visit of Steve Bruce’s side – especially in midfield. How will Chelsea line up?

Goalkeeper
Kepa did not have the easiest of international breaks with Spain, conceding a last-minute penalty to Norway and then losing his place to David de Gea for the game against Sweden only to come on when the Manchester United goalkeeper injured a groin. Is this the weekend he can record a second clean sheet of the season?
Willy Caballero may have an eye on the Manchester United Carabao Cup tie on Wednesday week.
Defence
Cesar Azpilicueta should be well-rested after the break and the Chelsea captain will be looking to maintain his fine form having shaken off a sluggish start last month. The skipper has been used at right back and as a right-sided centre back but expect him to carry out the former role against Newcastle depending on injuries to the first-choice centre backs.
Antonio Rudiger is nearing fitness but is unlikely to be ready for Saturday, while Andreas Christensen is a major doubt because of a hamstring issue. Fikayo Tomori will remain at the heart of defence, most likely alongside Kurt Zouma.
Reece James is fit having withdrawn from the England under-21s but will only start if Azpilicueta is pushed inside.
At left back Lampard has a dilemma. Emerson Palmieri had impressed early in the campaign before being injured playing for Italy last month. Marcos Alonso stepped in and acquitted himself well in his place. But now Emerson is back in training and it will be interesting to see if he becomes automatic first-choice again or if Alonso has done enough to retain his spot.
Midfield
N’Golo Kante’s injury woes continue. The France midfielder is now troubled by a groin tweak following ankle and knee issues. Lampard has been reluctant to push his star player through the pain barrier so he seems almost certain to sit out Saturday’s game. He does have an outside chance of being ready for Ajax on Wednesday.
Mateo Kovacic is fighting to shake off a knock sustained when playing for Croatia against Wales, while Jorginho will be fresh having sat out Italy’s second match away to Liechtenstein.

The England pair of Mason Mount and Ross Barkley started a game each for Gareth Southgate’s team, appearing off the bench in the other. However Barkley was seen with an ice pack strapped to his leg after Monday’s 6-0 win away to Bulgaria. Mount is fully fit and a certain starter.
Forward
The front three may be unchanged from the Southampton win. Callum Hudson-Odoi continues to sharpen up, impressing for England Under-21s, while Tammy Abraham only featured for a couple of minutes for the seniors against Czech Republic last Friday.
Willian has impressed Lampard in recent weeks and was not part of the Brazil squad that faced Senegal and Nigeria so will also start.
In reserve there are a couple of frustrated minds. Christian Pulisic suffered the indignity of being taken off an hour into the US’s embarrassing defeat to Canada and the best he can hope for right now is an appearance off the bench.
Olivier Giroud said he is committed to the cause but needs playing time, while Michy Batshuayi appears second in command and found the net for Belgium. Pedro remains on the fringes.

The England pair of Mason Mount and Ross Barkley started a game each for Gareth Southgate’s team, appearing off the bench in the other. However Barkley was seen with an ice pack strapped to his leg after Monday’s 6-0 win away to Bulgaria. Mount is fully fit and a certain starter.
Forward
The front three may be unchanged from the Southampton win. Callum Hudson-Odoi continues to sharpen up, impressing for England Under-21s, while Tammy Abraham only featured for a couple of minutes for the seniors against Czech Republic last Friday.
Willian has impressed Lampard in recent weeks and was not part of the Brazil squad that faced Senegal and Nigeria so will also start.
In reserve there are a couple of frustrated minds. Christian Pulisic suffered the indignity of being taken off an hour into the US’s embarrassing defeat to Canada and the best he can hope for right now is an appearance off the bench.
Olivier Giroud said he is committed to the cause but needs playing time, while Michy Batshuayi appears second in command and found the net for Belgium. Pedro remains on the fringes.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create your website at WordPress.com
Get started
%d bloggers like this: