After a whirlwind summer, Chelsea are back in action this weekend — well, Monday — as we begin Lampard’s second season with ambitions fit to match the club’s heavy and head-turning spending in the offseason.
That said, and even though the title says “new-look”, the squad that’s available for the opening match against Brighton has much more in common with last year’s edition than this year’s. New arrivals Ben Chilwell and Hakim Ziyech are injured at the moment, while Thiago Silva is not yet training with the team. They will be joined in their watching brief by Mateo Kovačić, who carries his one-match suspension over from the FA Cup final, when he was unjustly sent off by Anthony Taylor in a spectacularly bad refereeing performance.
In better news, both Christian Pulisic and César Azpilicueta have recovered from the hamstring injuries they sustained in said final, N’Golo Kanté and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are healthy, and all those players who were in quarantine at the start of preseason are now out and available as well. And of course both Timo Werner and Kai Havertz are ready to start their Chelsea careers.
This may not be Chelsea’s final form this season, but it’s the start.