CHELSEA travel to Crystal Palace tomorrow with Frank Lampard set to make a huge choice in central midfield.
Having lost out on the chance to jump to third after a frustrating loss at West Ham, Lampard made changes and the Blues fired back with a 3-0 win against Watford.
Baring some injuries, Chelsea can be expected to start with an almost identical line up – unless rotation is needed due to the logjam of fixtures.
Keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga can be expected to keep his place between the posts, having kept a clean sheet following a nervy display against the Hammers.
Lampard dropped Antonio Rudigier and Marcos Alonso for the same reason, with Reece James slotting in a right-back and Cesar Azpilicueta moving over to the left.
Kurt Zouma came in to partner Andreas Christensen at centre-back and the same back four are due to keep their place against Palace
But if Rudigier and Alonso were to be recalled, Christensen and James would likely be benched.
In front of the backline Lampard has a choice to make as Kante, finally deployed as a deep lying midfielder, is out injured.
Italian Jorginho, who spent much of the season in the role, is an obvious replacement.
But after Kante limped off injured, youngster Billy Gilmour came on to replace him.
Replacing the World Cup winner will be a battle between Jorginho – linked with a move to Juventus – and Gilmour.
Lampard insists Jorginho is still in his plans but the decision he makes tonight could be a huge hint in where the former Napoli midfielder’s future lies.
Either side of the defensive midfielder is more of a straight forward choice after Mason Mount and Ross Barkley both starred in Chelsea’s recent win.
Mateo Kovacic is also out injured but Ruben Loftus-Cheek could be in contention to start if either Barkley or Mount are rested.
Up front Olivier Giroud’s goal against Watford should see him keep his place after Tammy Abraham was dropped for a uninspiring performance against West Ham.
Willian and Christian Pulisic have been Lampard’s choice of wingers since the Premier League restart with Callum Hudson-Odoi just coming back from injury and Pedro agreeing a move to Roma.
Source: Soccer - thesun.co.uk