Chelsea will hope to leave their inconsistent form in 2020 when they kick off the new year against Manchester City on Sunday.
City haven’t played since Boxing Day because of a COVID-19 outbreak in the squad, and as a result they are expected to be without five first-team players on Sunday, so Frank Lampard will see that as an opportunity for his struggling side.
Here’s how the boss should line Chelsea up for the game.
Edouard Mendy (GK) – Mendy has looked a little shaky in recent weeks, but it’s hard to imagine a world in which his form gets so bad that he’s dropped for Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Cesar Azpilicueta (RB) – Reece James has been dealing with knee and hamstring injuries in recent weeks and clearly needs a rest, so expect Azpilicueta to replace the youngster again.
Kurt Zouma (CB) – After being rested against Aston Villa, Zouma should be raring to go for this one.
Thiago Silva (CB) – Lampard needs Silva’s leadership and experience to help drag the entire team out of this recent slump.
Ben Chilwell (LB) – Chilwell impressed against Villa and doesn’t look to be carrying any injuries these days, so he will likely keep his place in the lineup.
N’Golo Kante (DM) – Chelsea need their best holding midfielder to put in a 10/10 showing if they are to get anything out of this one.
Mason Mount (CM) – Mount could probably do with a rest, but he’ll likely keep his place because of a lack of in-form alternatives.
Kai Havertz (CM) – Jorginho has struggled recently and Mateo Kovacic ended up in the bad books in the 3-1 loss to Arsenal, so this is the perfect time to bring Havertz back into the starting lineup.
Callum Hudson-Odoi (RW) – One of very few bright sparks in the Chelsea side in recent weeks, Hudson-Odoi should be the first name on the team sheet against City.
Tammy Abraham (ST) – This one’s a real toss-up between Abraham and Olivier Giroud. Both scored in their last league outing, but as Abraham was rested against Villa, he’ll be the fresher man here.
Christian Pulisic (LW) – With Hakim Ziyech not yet ready to start and Timo Werner still struggling for form, Chelsea’s only other wide option is Pulisic, who has flashed glimpses of his star talent in recent weeks.