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Chelsea vs Southampton: Blues match preview, injuries and predicted lineup

Chelsea welcome Southampton to the Stamford Bridge for a boxing-day showdown.

Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard confirmed his squad have been carrying a few “bumps and bruises” after their sensational win against Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur.

Lampard revealed that his captain Cesar Azpilicueta is suffering from a hamstring injury, which makes him among the major injury concerns for the Blues going into the clash against the Saints.

The Blues boss added that although Azpilicueta’s injury is only a “small” one, he is unlikely to risk him for the boxing day clash at Stamford Bridge, giving the trip to Arsenal to follow at the weekend.

Youngster Reece James could be set for a return to the first team following the doubt to Azpilicueta, while Marcos Alonso is likely to get the nod again after his sensational display at White Hart Lane.

The Chelsea boss will have the headache of sticking with his winning 3-4-3 formation against Mourinho’s side or revert to his previous 4-3-3 lineup. Although, Lampard has in the past changed a winning formation for a different team. So a change in style and tactics may well be on the cards.

Jorginho is most likely to be recalled to the starting lineup, with the suspension of Mateo Kovacic, and he could be played alongside N’Golo Kante in a holding position for the Blues.

This could see the likes of Christian Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi get the nod in the game against the Saints, with Mason Mount joining them after Lampard singled out the Blues youngster for praise after his performance against Spurs last weekend.

Among the attacking options available to Lampard, Willian remain the most likely to retain his place in the team after his absolutely brilliant 2-goal performance against Tottenham last weekend, making it almost impossible to drop him for the game against Southampton.

Speaking of praise, Lampard also hailed Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori for their performance against Mourinho’s side, so Kurt Zouma could potentially be the one to drop out if a centre-half does make way.


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