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How Chelsea could line up for their first game back

:Headline: How Chelsea could line up for their first game back:
Sports Mole looks at how Chelsea could line up for their first match back after lockdown, with a host of players available again after shaking off fitness concerns.

Chelsea will resume their push for a top-four finish in the Premier League when top-flight action gets back underway after an enforced break of 100 days later this month.

Frank Lampard's side went into lockdown having won just two of their previous seven league games, allowing Manchester United in fifth to close the gap to just three points.

The Blues will be hopeful that the break in play has allowed them to stop the rot and start afresh when they visit relegation-threatened Aston Villa in their first game back, which is expected to take place over the weekend of June 19-21.

Here, Sports Mole looks at how they could line up for that contest.



Out: Marco van Ginkel (knee), Jorginho (suspended)
Doubtful: N'Golo Kante (coronavirus concerns)

The break in play has actually been fairly kind to Chelsea on the injury front, with a host of players having been able to shake off knocks and niggles during their time off.

When this match was originally scheduled to be played, the likes of Tammy Abraham, Mateo Kovacic, Christian Pulisic, Callum Hudson-Odoi and N'Golo Kante were all at least doubts due to injuries which have now cleared up.

The latter two remain doubtful for other reasons - Hudson-Odoi has been involved in off-field troubles during lockdown while Kante's reservations over returning to action have been well documented, and he is therefore likely to miss the restart.

Lampard's midfield options are further hit by Jorginho's suspension for picking up 10 yellow cards prior to lockdown, which means that there could be another starting opportunity for Billy Gilmour, who earned so much praise for his performances immediately before play was stopped.

Mateo Kovacic has also been one of Chelsea's top performers this season and is likely to start in the middle of the park alongside Ross Barkley.

Abraham's return to fitness should see him lead the line despite Olivier Giroud working his way back into Lampard's thinking, while Willian may only have a handful of games left in a Chelsea shirt and will be keen to go out with a bang if that is the case.

Lampard has often played with a back three this season following the emergence of Reece James and that will be an option again for the trip to Villa Park, but if he opts for a back four then Cesar Azpilicueta will shift out to the right.

The future of Kepa Arrizabalaga beyond the next transfer window remains uncertain, meanwhile, but the Spaniard did earn his starting spot back just before lockdown and may be preferred to Willy Caballero again. body check tags ::

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last updated article - 2020-06-02 18:24:57:
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CLiverpool32282270254586
2Manchester CityMan City32213881334866
3Leicester CityLeicester33177963313258
4Chelsea331761059441557
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd331510856332355
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves33131374536952
7Arsenal33121384941849
8Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd32121193332147
9Tottenham HotspurSpurs32129115144745
10Burnley32136133645-945
11Everton32128124047-744
12Newcastle UnitedNewcastle32119123343-1042
13Crystal Palace33119132840-1242
14Southampton32124164155-1440
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton33812133544-936
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham3286183856-1830
17Watford33610172951-2228
18Aston Villa3276193660-2427
19Bournemouth3376203259-2727
20Norwich CityNorwich3356222561-3621
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CLiverpool32282270254586
2Manchester CityMan City32213881334866
3Leicester CityLeicester33177963313258
4Chelsea331761059441557
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd331510856332355
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves33131374536952
7Arsenal33121384941849
8Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd32121193332147
9Tottenham HotspurSpurs32129115144745
10Burnley32136133645-945
11Everton32128124047-744
12Newcastle UnitedNewcastle32119123343-1042
13Crystal Palace33119132840-1242
14Southampton32124164155-1440
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton33812133544-936
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham3286183856-1830
17Watford33610172951-2228
18Aston Villa3276193660-2427
19Bournemouth3376203259-2727
20Norwich CityNorwich3356222561-3621
Scroll for more - Tap for full version
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