Frank Lampard has made just two changes to the Chelsea side that were embarrassed against Manchester City ahead of tonight’s Premier League clash against neighbours Fulham.
The Blues legend has only switched out Kurt Zouma for Antonio Rudiger and a high-profile call in snubbing out-of-form summer recruit Timo Werner for the experienced Olivier Giroud.
One of the notable omissions from the starting lineup is that of Billy Gilmour, the promising youngster that looked as though he’d be the answer to the strained linked between midfield and attack.
Chelsea legend Alan Hudson exclusively told CaughtOffside earlier this week that the under-fire Lampard ‘must surely’ play the Scotsman alongside N’Golo Kante, in a move that would allow star Christian Pulisic ‘freedom’ – particularly to ‘get forward – in his eyes.
Gilmour is instead on the bench whilst Mateo Kovacic and Mason Mount have been selected to feature next to superstar Kante.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 16, 2021
Here’s what Hudson had to say on some of the team selection he felt Lampard should’ve went with against the Cottagers when previewing the tie earlier this week:
“As for the Fulham match Frank must surely play Gilmour and Kante and allow Pulisic the freedom to get forward, a little like Villa have done with Jack Grealish, organise your midfield and have your ‘ace’ in the pack to create chances for those forwards who at first looked so very dangerous but have dropped away, form wise.”
“Fulham will be no pushovers and will try to frustrate Chelsea for as long as they stay in this match, they’ll fancy nicking it because Chelsea will be under far more pressure going into the final twenty minutes whereas Fulham will be happy to sit on a point, especially with other relegation candidates struggling also.”
“But Fulham have made a big recovery from Match Day 1 when they were destroyed by an ordinary Arsenal team.”
“The big thing for Frank now is that he will be hoping that the rumours of a candidate being lined up are untrue. Fulham will be looking forward to this local Derby far more than Frank.”
Gilmour turned in a brilliant all-round display in the FA Cup win against Morecambe, showing the kind of composed head he can bring to the middle of the park that can help solve some of the side’s problems.
The pressure is already on Lampard after four defeats from the Blues’ last six Premier League encounters, with a tie against Fulham – which is being branded as a ‘derby’ – a must-win for Chelsea.
Scott Parker’s men came away with a point against Spurs during midweek after a valiant performance, they’ll be no pushovers, so with the match perhaps to be closer than many would’ve expected, there’ll be even more scrutiny on Lampard’s team selection if things go sideways.