Frank Lampard would not reveal whether rotation awaits before the end of the season but has little in the way of fresh options with the likes of Mason Mount, Ben Chilwell, Reece James and Marc Cucurella all still out. The Blues boss can only welcome Joao Felix back into the fray from his injury list for the trip to Old Trafford on Thursday evening.
The Blues boss has alternated goalkeepers in recent matches but Kepa Arrizabalaga has perhaps looked the more assured and will be the favourite to start in goal once again. Ahead of him, it will be no surprise to see the same set-up as against Manchester City with few other defensive options to speak of.
That would see Lampard opt once again to utilise a back three of Wesley Fofana, Thiago Silva and Trevoh Chalobah. Lewis Hall will continue on the left flank, while Cesar Azpilicueta is likely to continue his duties on the right with his main competition for the position to come from Ruben Loftu-Cheek.
The Chelsea midfielder, widely linked with a move to AC Milan, will most likely be rewarded with another start in midfield having impressed Lampard against Manchester City. Enzo Fernandez and Conor Gallagher are set to join him in the centre of the field.
Having left him out of the England squad, Gareth Southgate revealed that Raheem Sterling is carrying a hamstring problem. He explained: “I spoke with him a week or so ago. A general catch-up. He’s not happy physically with his condition, been carrying a hamstring problem. He wasn’t in consideration. He doesn’t think he’s operating at the level he needs.”
Felix missed the game with Manchester City with a small issue, meaning he may not be primed to start meaning Kai Havertz mind himself with alternative support against the Red Devils. Mykhailo Mudryk, Noni Madueke and Carney Chukwuemeka could be in contention for that spot, with Mudryk perhaps offering the focal point highest up the pitch to replace Sterling.
Predicted XI: Kepa; Fofana, Silva, Chalobah; Azpilicueta, Loftu-Cheek, Fernandez, Gallagher, Hall; Mudryk, Havertz.
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