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Chelsea team news: Predicted 4-3-3 line up vs Newcastle – Lampard faces key decisions

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Frank Lampard is waiting on the fitness of several first-team players ahead of Chelsea’s meeting with Newcastle on Saturday. The Blues manager will hope to have N’Golo Kante available to face the Magpies after the Frenchman was forced to sit out against Burnley last weekend.

Kante missed the 3-0 win at Stamford Bridge due to a hamstring injury, despite being expected to start against Sean Dyche’s side.

The World Cup winner failed to make the bench after suffering a problem in training on the Friday, allowing Ross Barkley to make a rare appearance.

Speaking before the victory, Lampard said: “He’s reported some feeling in his hamstring yesterday after training.

“We have him overnight to see how it was, it wasn’t good enough this morning so not good enough to play.

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“Though these things always give an opportunity, you don’t want them because we’re missing good players.

“N’Golo… everyone knows how important he is for us but [playing him] is not worth the risk in any way.

“But it opens the door for Ross Barkley at this point to come in and play.”

Lampard hopes to have Kante available this weekend for the trip to Newcastle, meaning Barkley would drop to the bench.

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However, the French star may not be risked so Matteo Kovacic could deputise alongside Jorginho in central midfield.

Mason Mount is expected to retain his spot as the third midfielder while Christian Pulisic remains sidelined so Callum Hudson-Odoi should start once again, having scored against Burnley.

The English winger will join Willian in supporting lone frontman Tammy Abraham, who was also on target in the win over the Clarets with his 13th Premier League goal of the season.

Lampard is faced with a couple of key choices regarding his defensive unit, with Reece James having excelled at right-back in recent weeks.

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The youngster is likely to continue on the right side of defence, meaning Cesar Azpilicueta must continue deputising out of position on the opposite flank.

Lampard currently prefers the versatile Azpilicueta to natural left-back Emerson Palmieri, while Marcos Alonso remains an injury doubt.

And at centre-back, Antonio Rudiger will be partnered by one of Kurt Zouma, Fikayo Tomori or Andreas Christensen.

The latter surprisingly started against Burnely, making Lampard’s selection difficult to predict.

Finally, Kepa Arrizabalaga will continue in goal while Marco van Ginkel remains sidelined and Ruben Loftus-Cheek is also out but has returned to training and is closing on a return.

As for Newcastle, Steve Bruce is plagued by injury issues with up to nine first-team players nursing issues ahead of this weekend.

Paul Dummett and Dwight Gayle were forced off against Wolves last weekend while Jack Colback and Javier Manquillo are also on the treatment table.

Jamaal Lascelles is available but DeAndre Yedlin, Fabian Schar, Ki Sung-Yueng, Yoshinori Muto and Allan Saint-Maximin are all doubtful.

Chelsea predicted line-up vs Newcastle United – Premier League

(4-3-3): Arrizabalaga; James, Christensen, Rudiger, Azpilicueta; Jorginho, Kovacic, Mount; Willian, Hudson-Odoi, Abraham




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