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Chelsea predicted XI at West Ham: Lampard takes no chances

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Chelsea: Seven things to look for against West Ham by Varun Dani LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 30: Mateo Kovacic of Chelsea controls the ball during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on November 30, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images) On paper, this match looks like a walk in the park for Chelsea. In reality, the Blues cannot afford another loss to the Hammers, here’s the predicted XI.

Chelsea produced a less than flashy performance against Leicester City, but one that was enough to get the win. The Blues were not able to do that against West Ham United at Stamford Bridge in the first fixture between the two this season, however. The trip to the London Stadium is always a difficult one, but here we take a look at who may be going on that trip. Here are players we think Lampard would give the go ahead against West Ham:

Kepa Arrizabalaga (No. 1) Goalkeeper, Spain

This is one of the easiest selection, for us and for Frank Lampard. Arrizabalaga produced a performance of very high quality in his last outing against Manchester City; making sure that Chelsea held the score at 1-1 until Willian made it 2-1. It is satisfying to see Arrizabalaga turn out good performances, especially given the rough first half of the season he had. He would have gotten a clean-sheet against Manchester City had Kevin De Bruyne not struck an other-wordly free kick, so expect a possible clean sheet in east London.

Cezar Azpilicueta (No. 28) Right back, Spain

Need I say more? Reece James started the FA Cup tie against Leicester and did not impress. Azpilicueta came on at halftime along with Mateo Kovacic and Ross Barkley, who all changed changed the game for the better. This is following performances against Aston Villa and Manchester City where Azpilicueta was nothing short of superb. Azpilicueta has shown that Chelsea cannot do without him yet and Reece James reiterated that point against Leicester, so slow or not, expect Azpilicueta to start.

Andreas Christensen (No. 4) Right centerback, Denmark

Christensen got some much needed rest against Leicester City. It seems that Lampard is making better rotation decisions. Christensen had been Chelsea’s best and most consistent center back since the restart. He deserves to continue starting. Christensen’s distribution has been particularly excellent since the restart.

Antonio Rudiger (No. 2) Left centerback, Germany

Rudiger has been starting alongside Christensen since the restart, he’s still yet to impress like Christensen, but it is understandable if Lampard wants to stick to a centerback pairing to build their communication. Communication is key among centerbacks as it can be the difference between a goal kick and a corner kick.

Marcos Alonso (No. 3) Left back, Spain

Alonso brought stability against Aston Villa and Manchester City, hence why he should keep starting. Emerson Palmieri showed why he shouldn’t start more matches in the near future. It would not be out of place if Emerson is selected though, but it is unlikely seeing as Emerson doesn’t seem to know how the apply the speed he is championed to have. Alonso offers much more than Emerson, including attacking and defending set-pieces

RELATED PRODUCTChelsea Nike 2019/20 Dry Performance Pre-Match Top - WhiteBuy Now!Buy Now! Related Story: Tactics and Transfers: Chelsea sees off Leicester, defence remains indefensible N’Golo Kante (No. 7) Defensive midfielder, France

Kante has handled being the deepest midfielder superbly since the Premier League resumed. Many rejoiced in the appreciation and praise Lampard heaped on Jorginho in the moments leading up to and past Jorginho’s appointment as Vice Captain. Yet, Lampard has dropped a fully-fit Jorginho and has favoured Kante in that position. There is still a never-ending debate as to what Kante’s position is, but, the answer? On the pitch.

Ross Barkley (No. 8) Central midfielder, England

It seems like Barkley will finally get the nod for this one. Barkley has come in and changed the game again, like he did against Aston Villa. If merit is worth anything, Barkley should be starting the next match. It’s worth mentioning too, his game has improved greatly since the restart. His ability to shoot from distance and his mobility in the opposition area would be valuable assets Chelsea would need against the Hammers

Mateo Kovacic (No. 17) Central midfielder, Croatia

Kovacic links up the defense and attack better than anyone else on the roster. He is more creative than Mason Mount and creativity is something Chelsea lacked in the reverse fixture. Kovacic’s willingness to face play is often missing in Chelsea’s play.

Related Story: Chelsea: Four lessons learnt as Blues move on to FA Cup semis Willian (No. 10) Right winger, Brazil

Willian has easily been one of Chelsea’s most reliable players for longer than anyone cares to admit. Willian has created the most chances, has made more key passes than anyone, while also putting in defensive work. If you still wonder why Willian starts, we can’t help you.

Tammy Abraham (No. 9) Striker, England

It could also be Olivier Giroud, but likely to be Abraham up top against West Ham. Abraham is Chelsea’s highest goalscorer this season and goals are something the Blues were lacking the last go around. He has the strength to play as a focal point and the alertness to run in behind unsuspecting defenders. Abraham offers Chelsea many options and he can score goals from half chances.

Christian Pulisic (No. 22) Left winger, United States

Pulisic has shown why Chelsea cannot do without him. Scoring more than seven goals in his first season in the Premier League is not half bad. It’s scary to think about what is to come when Pulisic finally settles into the league. His dribbling, pace and eye for goal mean that Chelsea’s chances of scoring would increase exponentially with Pulisic on the pitch.

Next: Chelsea key clashes against West Ham: Friends become foes in the midfield

Who do you want to see in the starting XI? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!

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