Chelsea team news: Predicted 4-2-3-1 line up vs Arsenal – Five changes after Saints defeat

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Chelsea manager Frank Lampard is likely to make a number of changes when the Blues’ face Arsenal at the Emirates on Sunday (2pm).

Chelsea predicted line-up vs Arsenal – Premier League

Frank Lampard could ring the changes when Chelsea return to Premier League action against Arsenal this afternoon. The Blues are looking to get back to winning ways after a shock 2-0 defeat to Southampton on Boxing Day which saw them miss a chance to gain ground on their top four rivals.

Goals from Michael Obafemi and Nathan Redmond caused an upset at Stamford Bridge in midweek and led Lampard to criticise his players’ mentality.

And the Chelsea boss is now expected to wield the axe and shuffle his squad in an attempt to provoke a reaction against Arsenal.

Lampard has deployed a five-man defence in the past two matches but may return to a 4-2-3-1 formation which proved successful earlier in the campaign.

One of Antonio Rudiger, Kurt Zouma and Fikayo Tomori will therefore drop to the bench while Lampard also has a selection headache in the full-back roles.

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Cesar Azpilicueta looked uncomfortable against Southampton so Lampard may opt to rest the Spaniard, with Reece James a ready-made replacement.

And Marcos Alonso is also pushing for a return to the starting XI and will hope to get the nod over Emerson Palmieri on the left side of defence.

Mateo Kovacic is available after suspension and should partner N’Golo Kante in central midfield.

Jorginho will therefore drop out while Callum Hudson-Odoi is also in danger of getting axed after being hauled off at half-time in the defeat to Saints.

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The young winger struggled to make an impact and was replaced by Mason Mount at the break, with the playmaker himself having been rested due to the hectic fixture schedule.

Mount could start in the No 10 role while Christian Pulisic is expected to replace Hudson-Odoi on the opposite flank.

Willian faces competition from Pedro on the right wing but should keep his spot and Tammy Abraham will lead the line once more.

Abraham has now gone four Premier League games without a goal, coinciding with Chelsea’s run of four defeats in six.

Lampard’s young side have also lost out to West Ham, Everton and Bournemouth during a recent slump in form, although the Blues remain fourth in the table.

When asked about the latest defeat against Southampton, the Chelsea manager said: ”Same story.

“A few of the last home games. Every game is different, we had to recreate Spurs [2-0 victory]. It’s probably the same press conference as Bournemouth [0-1 defeat].

“We have to work. We have to do more in an attacking sense. You can’t have that control and not do more.”

As for Arsenal, Mikel Arteta is waiting on the fitness of several key players with Hector Bellerin, Gabriel Martinelli and Rob Holding all set to be assessed prior to kick-off against the Blues.

Dani Ceballos has also returned to training and is in contention to feature but Kieran Tierney remains sidelined after dislocating his shoulder.

Sead Kolasinac is also on the treatment table with an ankle ligament injury, limiting options for the Gunners boss.

Arsenal are currently 12th in the Premier League, although victory would move them to within five points of Chelsea.

Chelsea predicted line-up vs Arsenal – Premier League

Arrizabalaga; James, Rudiger, Tomori, Alonso; Kante, Kovacic; Willian, Mount, Pulisic; Abraham

Chelsea predicted line-up vs Arsenal – Premier League

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