Aubameyang and Badiashile start – The Chelsea changes Frank Lampard must make vs Arsenal

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Chelsea take on Arsenal in the Premier League on Tuesday night looking to earn three points having went winless in April

After another weekend off Chelsea are set to return to Premier League action on Tuesday with a trip to the Emirates Stadium to face Arsenal. The Blues will hope to take advantage of Arsenal’s stumbling form to salvage their own having suffered five defeats in a row since the appointment of Frank Lampard.

Chelsea have little to play for other than personal pride and faint hope of a place in the top half of the table. Lampard’s side have no easy task before the end of the season to ensure they can come away with three points. The Gunners are the first of the Premier League’s current top four, who Chelsea still need to face, with only Newcastle to come at home.

Lampard said following defeat to Brentford: “That’s just a reality, we’ve got a really tough run-in. Three of those top four games are away from home. I don’t think it’s worth going one step further than the next one at the minute which is Arsenal. So the team have to be motivated, there’s a lot on it.

“Even though people go ‘there’s not much on it for you, you’re not going to get in Europe, you’re not going to get relegated’. At the same time you have be individually motivated. I thought today they were. Then you have to keep fighting for the turn. I’ve been a player in a moment, maybe not similar to exactly now, but individually. Sometimes you rely on a teammate who is in great confidence, great nick and they get you a result on a night like tonight. At the minute we’re in a collective moment like that.

“The only way out of it is to work. We play a back three in the first half and control the game, we’re not effective enough at the top end of the pitch. We go back four, we’re more effective but concede on the counter-attack. It’s not a tactical problem for me at the minute in the short term. At the minute there’s clearly a confidence problem and I can see that in the players faces because they’re not sitting there bemoaning each other at this moment. There’s a nature of them being down. I walked into that, they’ve been living it longer than me and we’re trying everything to effect it. Firstly with performance, and then for results. We have to keep going with that.”

Change things up at the back

With Reece James out of action, Chelsea have few options to play at wingback but Lampard may feel moving Trevoh Chalobah from the central three and onto the right flank on Tuesday evening. That could see Benoit Badiashile return to the side and fill in his favoured position on the left side of defence to recommence some promising performances at Thiago Silva’s side.

Start Pierre-Emerick Aubemeyang

It would be an understatement to suggest that Chelsea do not come close to Manchester City’s attack but the Premier League champions’ success in central positions and up against Rob Holding, suggests the west London side may be best off having a direct opponent for the Arsenal backline.

There remains of course, the argument that Chelsea should be looking to the future, and with Aubameyang not expected to stay, perhaps he should not be involved. With only David Datro Fofana among the senior ranks as a striker, Aubameyang will be in contention however.

Don’t play every midfielder

Frank Lampard’s assessment of the game against Brentford was perhaps not very reassuring for Chelsea fans.

He said: “We play a back three in the first half and control the game, we’re not effective enough at the top end of the pitch. We go back four, we’re more effective but concede on the counter-attack. It’s not a tactical problem for me at the minute in the short term.”

However, sticking with a formation that provides no threat up top is unlikely to lead to many wins. It is Chelsea’s inability in front of goal that has put them under so much pressure this season.

With Raheem Sterling leading the line against the Bees, his support came in the form of Conor Gallagher and N’Golo Kante to start the game with Enzo Fernandez and Mateo Kovacic also featuring. While there was endeavour, there was not enough creativity or quality around the box to provide a true threat.

Chelsea’s forwards have offered little over the course of 2022/23 but more advanced options such as Joao Felix, Mykhailo Mudryk and Noni Madueke must be looked to more quickly.

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