Chelsea’s lineup for tonight’s Premier League opener against Brighton has now been released, Frank Lampard has handed competitive debuts to Timo Werner and club-recording signing Kai Havertz.
The Blues appear to be opting for a 4-3-3 or 4-4-1-1 formation for their trip to the coastal outfit, with Reece James, Andreas Christensen, Kurt Zouma and Marcos Alonso starting at the back.
The midfield will consist of N’Golo Kante, Jorginho and academy graduate Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
Chelsea’s attacking trio will see another academy product in Mason Mount starting alongside new-boys Werner and Havertz.
Chelsea secured 4th spot in the top-flight last season, with Graham Potter’s Brighton side finishing 15th.
Take a look at Chelsea’s lineup below:
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) September 14, 2020
Here’s how some of the Blues’ faithful reacted to Lampard’s teamsheet:
Weird line up. Makes 0 sense but I’m hyped for Werner and Havertz. Defence is still scary though. Anything can happen. Mixed feelings rn.
— Moinul (@Moinul123) September 14, 2020
No CHO im done
— KB (@Khalz10i) September 14, 2020
No way, we had enough of this. Start CHO or we go mad like we did with Sarri.
— Bego (@Begoishere) September 14, 2020
Tbf the only real concern is CHO somehow not starting, now win please
— Ben ?™ (@_CFCBen) September 14, 2020
Not gunna get on the managers back first game of the season but Hudson Odoi should undoubtedly be starting l
— CFC D0nkey (@IsaacBateman5) September 14, 2020
WHERE IS CHO
— Raf (@CFC_Raf) September 14, 2020
WHERES HUDSON ODOI
— ?ewis (@ftbllew) September 14, 2020
None of Chelsea’s other signings – Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva and Hakim Ziyech – are part of the matchday squad.
The Blues actually faced off against the Seagulls a couple of weeks ago in their final pre-season friendly, the tie ended 1-1 and prolific Werner bagged the goal for Lampard’s side.
Christian Pulisic is another key player that remains sidelined.
Chelsea will be considered favourites for the encounter, but Brighton have the quality up top to cause problems to Chelsea’s lacklustre backline.
We’ll have to wait and see just how Chelsea’s midfield lineups, either or both of Mount or Loftus-Cheek could be starting on the wings, with Havertz being deployed in his most natural No.10 role.
Some fans’ prime concerns appear to be that out-of-form talent Callum Hudson-Odoi hasn’t been given a chance to impress, especially given that he’s the only natural winger with Ziyech out.