Chelsea received no favors from the Premier League powers that be this weekend (i.e. the TV companies), as we have to contend with the first kick-off of Matchweek 15 up at Goodison Park, against Everton. Noon start times (12:30, to be specific) tend to produce sluggish performances as a baseline, and that’s before we consider that Chelsea were battling for a narrow victory less than 72 hours prior.
But that’s life in the Premier League and there’s little use in complaining about now. We could see some rotation as a result, especially with a must-win game coming up midweek against Lille at Stamford Bridge.
The biggest concern and/or decision will be regarding Tammy Abraham, who picked up a knock late in Saturday’s game when he clashed knees with Tyrone Mings. While Lampard played down the injury in the post-match, he might have different news to bear in just a few short hours when he conducts his pre-match press conference.
Lampard will probably be quizzed about the availability of Antonio Rüdiger and Ross Barkley as well. The former’s return was pegged at 7-10 days earlier this week, so this weekend may be too soon for him, while the latter’s (actual) status remains a mystery — he’s sure had a few mystery injuries and illnesses since making his latest off-the-pitch headlines! Meanwhile, neither Marco van Ginkel nor Ruben Loftus-Cheek have a return date at the moment. Presumably, Mateo Kovačić’s apparent hand injury is not something to be worried about.