Chelsea team news: Predicted 4-3-3 line up vs Sheffield United – Lampard axes three stars

Chelsea team news: Predicted 4-3-3 line up vs Sheffield United – Lampard axes three stars

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard could make a number of alterations to his starting XI when the Blues face Sheffield United. Several first-team players put in below-par performances against Crystal Palace last time out and could be dropped as a result.

Chelsea managed to take all three points at Selhurst Park on Tuesday, but the 3-2 victory was not a comfortable watch for Lampard and his staff.

Olivier Giroud had put the Blues ahead and Christian Pulisic doubled the advantage but Wilfried Zaha gave the hosts hope just before half-time.

Substitute Tammy Abraham looked to have sealed the points with a smart finish but Christian Beneteke then tapped in to set up a grandstand finish.

Kepa Arrizabalaga was forced into a smart save late on while Kurt Zouma made a last-ditch tackle and the Eagles also hit the post as Roy Hodgson’s men pushed for an equaliser.

But the win lifted Chelsea up to third in the Premier League, leapfrogging Leicester and keeping the west London club on course for Champions League qualification.

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Next up are Sheffield United, and Lampard could look to shuffle his squad in order to avoid a similarly inconsistent display.

The Blues are set to be without N’Golo Kante once again, with the Frenchman recovering from a hamstring injury, while Mateo Kovacic is also doubtful due to an ankle knock and might not be risked from the off.

Fikayo Tomori and Marco van Ginkel are Chelsea’s only other injury concerns, with the former suffering a set-back in training after a muscle problem and the latter short of match fitness.

Lampard opted for an inexperienced midfield of Billy Gilmour, Ross Barkley and Mason Mount against Palace and paid the price as the trio failed to control the match in the second-half.

Jorginho made an instant impression from off the bench during his first appearance since lockdown and could well have done enough to earn a start here.

Gilmour is most likely to drop to the bench but Barkley could also be in danger if Ruben Loftus-Cheek is given a chance to shine.

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Meanwhile, Andreas Christensen had a nightmare display in central defence and is in danger of dropping out for Antonio Rudiger.

The German international is likely to line up alongside Zouma, who enhanced his reputation with a battling performance last time out.

Lampard is expected to deploy Cesar Azpilicueta at left-back instead of Marcos Alonso and Emerson Palmieri while Reece James will start on the opposite side of defence.

Kepa Arrizabalaga should continue in goal, despite being criticised for Zaha’s strike, while Willian and Pulisic continue to impress out wide.

It remains to be seen whether Lampard will opt for Giroud or Abraham in attack, although the former may be best suited to deal with the Blades’ physical rearguard.

Chelsea predicted line-up vs Sheffield United – Premier League

(4-3-3): Arrizabalaga; James, Rudiger, Zouma, Azpilicueta; Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek, Mount; Willian, Pulisic, Giroud

SUBS: Caballero, Christensen, Alonso, Gilmour, Kovacic, Barkley, Hudson-Odoi, Pedro, Abraham

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