...By Jack Sylva for TDPel Media.
Chelsea will be without three key players for their upcoming match against Brentford, increasing the number of players currently out of action to five.
Reece James and Mason Mount will miss the rest of the season due to injuries, while Kai Havertz will sit out the West London derby due to a minor knee issue.
These players join Kalidou Koulibaly and Armando Broja in the treatment room, leaving interim coach Frank Lampard with a squad of around 27 players to choose from.
Reece James’ and Mason Mount’s Injuries
Reece James sustained a hamstring injury during the Real Madrid match, which ultimately ended his season prematurely.
Despite the injury, he played through the pain during a crucial Champions League match.
Mason Mount, on the other hand, is undergoing minor surgery for a painful pelvic bone injury that requires four weeks of recovery time.
Kalidou Koulibaly picked up a hamstring injury during the first leg against Madrid two weeks ago.
Armando Broja is also out due to a long-term knee injury.
However, the rest of the Chelsea squad is in good shape.
Lampard’s Squad Fitness and Preparation
Frank Lampard had previously admitted that his players were lacking in fitness and “capacity,” but they now have had a full week to prepare for Brentford.
This is the first time that Lampard and his coaching staff have had a clear run of training sessions, as they have been playing games every three days since replacing Graham Potter.
Despite losing all four of their recent matches, Chelsea showed improvement during their game against Madrid last week.
Lampard’s Possible Lineup
Frank Lampard’s team selection for the upcoming match against Brentford is hard to predict.
He has changed the system and personnel in almost every game, making it tricky to second-guess his choices.
However, Lampard has now had a chance to evaluate much of his squad, and he must make his decisions based on the players’ recent performances.
Lampard is likely to select Kepa Arrizabalaga in goal, ahead of Edouard Mendy.
He may use a back four consisting of Trevoh Chalobah, Thiago Silva, Wesley Fofana, and Ben Chilwell.
Cesar Azpilicueta could compete against Chalobah for James’s spot at right-back.
In midfield, Lampard may reward Conor Gallagher, who scored during the recent 2-1 defeat against Brighton, and play him alongside N’Golo Kante and Enzo Fernandez.
Up front, Joao Felix is expected to start, potentially in a front three alongside Mykhailo Mudryk and Raheem Sterling.
Chelsea has been struggling with injuries, which has affected their recent performances.
However, Lampard’s squad now has had a chance to rest and recover, and the coaching staff has had more time to prepare.
Despite this, Lampard’s team selection remains unpredictable, as he has been experimenting with different systems and players.
However, the upcoming match against Brentford will be crucial for Chelsea, and Lampard will need to make the right choices to get a positive result.