How Chelsea could line-up against Brighton with Hudson-Odoi and James vying for first Premier League start of the season

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CHELSEA welcome the visit of Brighton off the back of their first home win of the season, having smashed Grimsby 7-1 in the week.

The Carabao Cup walk over offered Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James their first appearances of the campaign, with both netting a goal.

How Chelsea could line up against Brighton

It gives manager Frank Lampard a squad headache with the young duo both vying for their first Premier League starts of the season.

Goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga was given some rest time midweek with Willy Caballero between the posts, though the Spain stopper is expected to return to the starting XI.

Left-back Emerson suffered another injury against Liverpool, with a hamstring problem forcing him off after just 15 minutes.

Spaniard Marcos Alonso will cover, having already made three starts this season though two were in his favoured wing-back role.

The Blues will likely stick with the centre-back pairing of Andreas Christensen and Fikayo Tomori, with both rested against Grimsby.

At right-back Lampard has a real decision to make with James coming into the side midweek, scoring once and setting up two goals.

It comes after skipper Cesar Azpilicueta has shown tired legs in recent weeks, despite a solid performance against Liverpool.

Lampard has shown trust to his youth this season, and with James already making appearances for the Under-23’s he could be deemed fit enough to start.

But if he wants to show faith to his captain, Azpilicueta could remain in the line up at Stamford Bridge, but must be aware his position is under threat.

In the midfield three Lampard has opted for the experienced trio of N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic either side of the deep lying Jorginho.

It has proved the Blues’ strongest set up in the middle of the park, though it forces starlet and in form playmaker Mason Mount further afield.

If Lampard is to play his former Derby loanee in midfield, Kovacic could be a casualty, but the 20-year-old has been deployed out wide in recent weeks.

It could mean Mount starts either side of the wing, with fan favourite Hudson-Odoi making a Premier League return for the first time since April when he suffered an Achilles injury against Burnley.

The English winger made a bright start to the season against Grimsby, and after penning a new five-year deal he will be itching to show his worth.

However, if Lampard is to ease the 18-year-old back into the team then he has options out wide.

Willian, Chelsea’s new No10, has started the last two league games partnering Mount.

But Christian Pulisic, who played midweek, and Spaniard Pedro are both available.

Tammy Abraham is expected to return up front for the Blues, after receiving some rest time having scoring seven league goals this season.

Though Belgain Michy Batshuayi received praise from boss Lampard after he scored twice and set one up in the League Cup, and was credited for his work coming off the bench against Liverpool.


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World Cup winner Olivier Giroud has been somewhat of a misfit this term, making only one appearance against Leiecster and not even making the squad for the last two games.

Chelsea are still without powerhouse Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who is recovering from an Achillies injury last May.

The Englishman is sure to give Lampard sleepless nights as he prepares to shape up his midfield which has been consistent this season.



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