All eyes are on the final 24 hours of the winter transfer window, even if it’s unlikely to produce any major alterations to the makeup of the Chelsea squad. But whether Olivier Giroud leaves and/or a new forward arrives (who probably wouldn’t be eligible to play so soon anyway), we have actual football to take care of as well, and it’s actually a very important match that’s happening this Saturday.
Fourth-place Chelsea take on third place Leicester City before heading off to a two-week winter break. With just a five-point cushion to fifth place, we really could use a big win here — and that would also close the eight-point gap to Leicester themselves.
Our task was not made any easier by leading goalscorer Tammy Abraham’s ankle injury ten days ago, and he remains very much questionable for this weekend. He could conceivably play given enough painkillers, but would an (at best) hobbled Abraham be better than a fully fit Batshuayi or a possibly still-present Olivier Giroud? Lampard might shed some clearer light on this situation in Friday’s press conference, but right now, it’s hard to see Tammy as available.
The situation is much clearer with the likes of Christian Pulisic and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, neither of whom are expected to play — though obviously Pulisic’s a lot closer and should be available after the break. Reece James was also expected to return this weekend, though that’s still not confirmed either.