Chelsea vs Leicester: Predicted Blues team for Frank Lampard’s first game at Stamford Bridge as boss – will Christian Pulisic start?

18 Aug

Frank Lampard is set for a hero’s welcoming in his first home game in charge of Chelsea against Leicester on Sunday.

The Chelsea legend has had a tough start to life as Blues boss after being humiliated by Manchester United on the opening day of the season and losing to Liverpool on penalties in the UEFA Super Cup.

Frank Lampard is looking for his first win as Chelsea boss
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But Lampard will have the chance to bounce back when his players host a good Leicester side this weekend.

The former England midfielder returned to Stamford Bridge with his Derby side in the Carabao Cup last season, but has not represented Chelsea in west London since leaving the club in 2014.

Following their 4-0 humbling to Manchester United last weekend, Lampard could be tempted to change his starting XI.

Christian Pulisic and Olivier Giroud, who were both left on the bench at Old Trafford, impressed against Liverpool in midweek.

Giroud opened the scoring for the Blues after latching on to Pulisic’s clever pass, and the latter thought he had doubled his team’s lead, but his solo effort was ruled out for offside.

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Both players will be pushing for starts this weekend.

N’Golo Kante was arguably Chelsea’s best performer in the UEFA Super Cup and played the full 120 minutes, despite being only fit enough for the bench against United.

The World Cup winner could partner Jorginho and Mason Mount in midfield, while Pedro is likely to support Giroud and Pulisic in attack.

Giroud’s involvement would give Tammy Abraham a chance to be taken out of the firing line.

The England Under-21 striker missed the decisive penalty in Chelsea’s shootout defeat and was then subjected to online racial abuse.

Tammy Abraham had a night to forget against Liverpool
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Lampard spoke of his ‘disgust’ at the abuse Abraham has received.

He said: “Obviously Tammy is disappointed. More than disappointed, that is probably the wrong word.

“I am particularly disgusted by the so-called Chelsea fan.

“I have spoken with Tammy, he is a strong character. I love his character and he is infectious around the place.

“He is a great, great young lad and his football career is ahead of him. It will be a test of his character that he doesn’t need.”

Meanwhile, Antonio Rudiger, who has returned to first-team training following knee surgery, could replace Kurt Zouma in the heart of defence.

Zouma gave away a penalty, which allowed Marcus Rashford to open the scoring for United, and endured a torrid time against the England forward and Anthony Martial.

Cesar Azpilicueta and Emerson are expected to operate the full-back positions with Kepa in goal.

How Chelsea could look against Leicester City

Is this how Chelsea could line up against Leicester?
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Chelsea news: Stamford Bridge is a ‘quiet’ stadium lacking in atmosphere, claims former midfielder Steve Sidwell

15 Mar

Former Chelsea midfielder Steve Sidwell has described Stamford Bridge as a ‘quiet’ stadium lacking in atmosphere.

Sidwell, who spent a brief part of his career in west London, believes Blues fans fail to generate much noise compared to other Premier League clubs.

Steve Sidwell does not rate the atmosphere at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea fans have made themselves heard this season, but mainly when voicing their disapproval, with chants of ‘f*** Sarri-ball’ and jeers for Blues midfielder Jorginho.

And Sidwell believes the 41,000-seater stadium can be a difficult place to play.

“Some stadiums get up for the big games more than others,” he told Jim White on talkSPORT.

“But generally, unless there’s real entertainment on the pitch, it’s a quiet stadium.

“That’s from playing there and going as an opposition player as well.”

Blues supporters have had little to shout about this season, with the club currently languishing in sixth-place in the Premier League.

The Blues were recently hit with a two-window transfer ban and reports continue to link Eden Hazard with a summer move to Real Madrid.

According to Sidwell, Chelsea could be in deep trouble if they fail to qualify for the Champions League.

“They have to finish in the top four. There’s huge pressure for them, they can’t go two seasons without finishing in the top four.

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“Especially with the transfer ban and everything that’s going on with Hazard. They’re going to have to try and promote youth products.

“I’d love to see [Ruben] Loftus-Cheek, I’m a massive fan and I really want to see him get a run of games.

“Give [Callum] Hudson-Odoi a run of games as well. You want to see these youngsters come through and be given a chance at the top level.”

Hudson-Odoi and Loftus-Cheek are getting more opportunities for Chelsea

Chelsea could also qualify for the Champions League by winning the Europa League, and they have been gifted a favourable route to the final.

Maurizio Sarri’s men face Slavia Prague in the quarter-finals, and should they win, Benfica or Frankfurt will be waiting in the last four.

And one of Chelsea’s main rivals will go out in the quarters after Arsenal and Napoli were drawn against each other.