Chelsea

Chelsea team news: Reece James could start against Crystal Palace after Champions League heroics

Chelsea team news: Reece James could start against Crystal Palace after Champions League heroics

Chelsea’s thrilling 4-4 draw with Ajax on Tuesday has built even more excitement around Frank Lampard’s project, and after five league victories on the bounce, he won’t need to change last weekend’s winning formula too much against Crystal Palace.

An impressive showing for Reece James against Ajax, which saw him come off the bench for a 7.9/10-rated performance (WhoScored), could mean he’s earned a first Premier League start at 19 years old.

So, how will Chelsea line-up against Crystal Palace?

Up top, Abraham should keep his place, having scored once and assisted three times in the last three games in all competitions. Continuing in attack, Mason Mount is set for a late fitness test after picking up a knock against Ajax, meaning Callum Hudson-Odoi could return in the three behind.

He’s made just two league starts all season, but he’ll hope to make a similar impact to the one Christian Pulisic has made since being handed a starting chance against Burnley, after which he made a Man of the Match performance at Watford and then a 7.5-rated one against Ajax.

On the right, Willian should make his 11th start in 12 games across all competitions, and he proved his worth once again on Tuesday, with The Express saying he “came to the fore when Ajax [went] down to nine”.

Mateo Kovacic is expected to keep his place, and Jorginho’s suspension will see N’Golo Kante play his first game since Chelsea’s 4-1 win over Southampton, when he scored and gained a WhoScored rating of 8/10.

After an impressive display against Ajax, Reece James could replace Cesar Azpilicueta in the line-up this weekend, and with no WhoScored ratings of over 7.3/10 at all this season, Azpilicueta hasn’t helped the case to keep his place.

At left-back, Emerson is expected to return to the starting 11 after being rested on Tuesday, and Marcos Alonso’s poor performance will have made that decision easier.

Football,london rated him 3/10, saying he gave away “silly” free kicks and described his balls into the box as “poor”.

Kurt Zouma and Fikayo Tomori have started together in six of the last seven Chelsea games in all competitions, and we expect them to stay in the line-up this weekend too, having conceded just five in six games together before the crazy draw with Ajax.

How would you line up? Join the discussion by commenting below…

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