How Chelsea should line up vs Wolves with James in midfield ahead of Kante for finale to qualify for Champions League

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FRANK LAMPARD cut a frustrated figure on the Chelsea bench at Anfield on Wednesday evening.

In fact, videos have surfaced on social media showing the Chelsea boss ranting at the Liverpool bench after the home side were awarded a contentious free kick.

They inevitably scored from the set piece and continued to put five goals past Lampard’s Chelsea.

This has been the story of Chelsea’s season, a leaky backline struggling to keep goals out of the net.

Their saving grace has been the ability to score goals, and as a result, they still find themselves in a very healthy position.

Lampard’s first season as a Premier League manager, which started by losing star player Eden Hazard and not being able to replace, meant the odds were already stacked against him.

But Chelsea are in the FA Cup Final, and just a draw against Wolves in the final game of the season on Sunday will see them qualify for the Champions League. 

Lampard & Co are on the verge of a very successful season with all things considered.

But Chelsea MUST line up to beat Wolves and take the game to them on Sunday, because there is no way that we can rely on the shoddy defence.

I want to see a direct and attacking line up and a proper replacement for N’Golo Kante, if the Frenchman is still ruled out with injury.

Lampard needs to revert to his largely used 4-3-3 formation, and play Reece James as a defensive midfielder.

The 20-year old successfully captained Wigan Athletic in that position last season and got named their player of the season.

The way Lampard sets up his team means James’s athleticism, defensive qualities, pace and strength will provide the same cover that Kante has been doing in that position.

This will allow the attacking players in front of him to concentrate on scoring the goals to win the game and put it to bed early doors. 

Playing for a draw would be a big mistake, we know how easily Chelsea can get turned over and Wolves have some great attacking players.

Go out there and attack from the off, get the goals to make you comfortable, and then think about sitting back and protecting a comfortable lead.

Start with attacking and direct wingers such as Christian Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi, who both made an instant impact for Chelsea on Wednesday night.

Say to them, go out there and do your thing, express yourselves. 

Let James then sit just in front of the back four and cover any potential counter-attacks, and then put the versatile Mateo Kovacic, who can be an asset in defence and attack, sitting just in front of him.

Mason Mount goes in to his more comfortable centre midfield position as the most advanced, directing the high press and creating more attacking opportunities.

 

I would also start the club’s top goal scorer Tammy Abraham on Sunday, because we want energy from the off and we want to hunt down the ball with intensity from the front. 

At the back, Willy Caballero must replace Kepa Arrizabalaga after yet another poor performance from the Spaniard in mid-week.

I am just more confident with Caballero right now.

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