Welcome to Frank Lampard’s bad moment. It feels like we’re one step away from a full-blown crisis. The top half of the Premier League may be a congested mess, but we’ve collected just 3 points from the last 12, and that’s no way to stay in any sort of race, be that a top-four, a top-fix, or — what’s certainly not on the cards anymore — a title race.
Back-to-back-to-back away defeats sandwich an impressive-on-paper 3-0 win over West Ham, but Chelsea had plenty of difficulties in that match, too. There are systemic problems that need to be solved, alongside crippling inconsistencies, not to mention lapses in focus and motivation.
Such issues will not be solved in 48 hours, but that’s all that we get in this case, from the Emirates back to the Bridge, from losing to a massively out of form and spiraling Arsenal, to taking on a very much in-form and confident Aston Villa.
Reece James and Ben Chilwell made surprise returns to the starting lineup yesterday, which featured most of the usuals. Presumably Hakim Ziyech is the only player technically not available, but many others will still be tired and licking their wounds from the Arsenal defeat.