Sunday, August 9, 2020

Chelsea team news: Expected 5-2-3 line up vs Arsenal – Willian decision, Kante returns | Football | Sport

Chelsea team news: Expected 5-2-3 line up vs Arsenal - Willian decision, Kante returns | Football | Sport

Frank Lampard has a number of tough decisions to make when Chelsea meet Arsenal at Wembley in the FA Cup final. The Blues boss is searching for his first piece of silverware since taking over at Stamford Bridge last summer and his side head into the showpiece clash as favourites.

Chelsea have an excellent recent record against Arsenal, losing just two of their last 10 meetings while comprehensively beating the Gunners 4-1 in the Europa League final last year.

In the Premier League this season, the Blues ran out 2-1 winners when the sides met at the Emirates in December before being held to a 2-2 draw on their home turf a month later.


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However, Chelsea are yet to triumph in an FA Cup final against their London rivals after tasting defeat in 2002 and again in 2017.

Lampard is looking to buck that trend this weekend and will hope his side can carry the momentum from their successful league campaign into the headline matchup.

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A breakthrough in negotiations was reported earlier this week but Willian’s agent revealed that his client has concrete proposals from other clubs on the table – with one speculated to be from Arsenal – so Lampard may take the 31-year-old out of the equation.

Mount could push forward into a wide role, with Christian Pulisic on the other flank, while N’Golo Kante could return in midfield if passed fit.

The Frenchman has missed the past six matches with a hamstring injury but is closing on a return and could start here, although Jorginho will continue to deputise if not.

Mateo Kovacic has been excellent this season and will continue in midfield while Lampard is expected to retain the three-man defence utilised in Chelsea’s part three matches.

That means Reece James and Marcos Alonso will line up in the wing-back roles while Cesar Azpilicueta will slot into defence alongside Antonio Rudiger and Kurt Zouma.

Meanwhile, Kepa Arrizabalaga is expected to miss out once more with the Spaniard thought to have played his last game for Chelsea after being dropped for the Wolves clash.

Willy Caballero will start in his place again while Andreas Christensen, Fikayo Tomori, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ross Barkley and Callum Hudson-Odoi should complete the bench.

That means no space in the matchday squad for Emerson Palmieri or Michy Batshuayi, with both players expected to leave this summer, while Pedro is set to become a free agent and has already said his goodbyes after a late cameo last time out.

Chelsea predicted line-up vs Arsenal – FA Cup

(5-2-3): Caballero; James, Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Zouma, Alonso; Kante, Kovacic; Mount, Pulisic, Giroud

SUBS: Kepa, Christensen, Tomori, Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek, Barkley, Hudson-Odoi, Willian, Abraham

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