Mixed fortunes for Chelsea with injury issues surrounding five players ahead of Newcastle match
It has been mixed fortunes for Frank Lampard since making the step up to his first Premier League job at Chelsea.
Across all competitions in their 11 games, Chelsea have won six, drawn two and lost three.
A transfer ban complicating things and helping to make the decision easier to give a lot of younger players their chance.
Certainly the Chelsea fans can’t complain about the entertainment factor which they have done with recent managers, as there have been a massive 44 goals in their 11 games, an average of four per game.
The blues have scored 27 goals and the opposition 17 so far.
However, it is getting to a key part of the season now for a busy club like Chelsea who have aspirations of winning stuff.
Following the Newcastle game, Lampard’s team face six games spread only 17 days apart, three Premier League games, a League Cup clash clash against Man Utd and a double header with Ajax which could well settle their chances either way of getting out of their Champions League group.
With that background of a very busy period of important games ahead, the Chelsea boss will have to give plenty of thought to managing the players who have injures and knocks when making his Newcastle selection.
The biggest boost for Newcastle is that N’Golo Kante is set to miss out after pulling out of France’s squad for their Euro 2020 qualifier against Iceland with a groin problem.
Two other players on international duty have also returned with injuries.
Andreas Christensen has a hamstring injury and is another set to miss, whilst Mateo Kovacic picked up a leg injury when playing for Croatia and is doubtful, especially with so many key games coming up in that 17 day period.
Meanwhile, left-sided player Emerson is getting close to a return from injury but Ajax in midweek is said to be the earliest he might be back.
One positive for Frank Lampard is that 19 year old full-back Reece James is set to be available despite pulling out of the England Under 21 squad.
In contrast to the Chelsea boss, with Newcastle not doing Europe or the domestic cup competitions, after Saturday Steve Bruce only has three games to Chelsea’s six before the next international break.
So picking his team should be more straightforward, with indeed Chelsea playing another two games before Newcastle next play at home to Wolves a week on Sunday.
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