Two ways Frank Lampard can setup Chelsea vs Newcastle to give Mauricio Pochettino head start
Frank Lampard has one match remaining as interim Chelsea head coach, against Newcastle United on Sunday afternoon, before the club begins a new chapter next season.
Frank Lampard will take command of Chelsea’s 11th and last match as interim manager on Sunday afternoon when the Blues host Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge.
The fact that it is the season’s final game will be music to the ears of Chelsea fans all over the world. Despite spending over £600 million on new acquisitions in the previous two transfer windows under the ownership of Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital, the football club has had an awful season.
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Sixteen defeats this season is an unwelcome club record for Chelsea, who has been led by Thomas Tuchel, Graham Potter, and Frank Lampard. With Mauricio Pochettino anticipated to be appointed as the next permanent head coach shortly, a new chapter is about to begin.
Lampard’s ten games in charge have done little to excite Chelsea fans, with eight defeats, one draw, and one win, but they may have been very beneficial to Pochettino. The Argentine will have certainly watched most of these games to get a head start on his appointment at the end of the season.
The Chelsea lineup Lampard selected against Manchester United may have aided Pochettino as well, with a very youthful team against Erik Ten Hag’s players. Chelsea’s youngest-ever Premier League XI was 23 years and 238 days old, with 33-year-old Cesar Azpilicueta at right-back.
Alfie Gilchrist, a regular captain in the Chelsea Development Squad who was chosen to the bench in the defeat to Manchester United on Thursday, could be in line for some game time. If Lampard starts the highly touted center-back against Newcastle, Pochettino will get a chance to see one of the club’s academy talents in action.
Here are two possible lineups for Chelsea on Sunday. Pochettino would profit greatly from either of these teams because the majority of these players – the majority of whom are quite young – will remain at the club next season.
Kepa, Chalobah, Silva, Fofana, Hall; Fernandez, Chukwuemeka; Madueke, Felix, Mudryk; Havertz.
Kepa; Gilchrist, Silva, Chalobah; Azpilicueta, Fernandez, Chukwuemeka, Hall; Mudryk, Madueke, Felix; Mudryk, Madueke, Felix.
Carney Chukwuemeka impressed on Thursday, putting him in line for back-to-back starts for the first time in his Chelsea career. Noni Madueke, meanwhile, struck the eye at Old Trafford with his directness and deception. Without a sure, Mykhailo Mudryk needs to improve, but he might start against Newcastle.
Kepa Arrizabalaga is unlikely to be Chelsea’s starting goalkeeper by the start of next season, with the club actively aiming to upgrade in that area during the summer transfer window. Andre Onana and David Raya are two shot-stoppers who are being scrutinized closely ahead of the deadline.
Enzo Fernandez once again demonstrated his class on Thursday night, and the fact that he has started every game since joining Chelsea in January demonstrates his value to the team. When his compatriot Pochettino comes over, he will surely play a significant role.
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It will be intriguing to see who starts against Newcastle, Joao Felix or Kai Havertz. Felix arguably deserves it after scoring a superb solo goal against Manchester United in the second half after coming off the bench.
Felix might still be used by Pochettino, with Chelsea exploring another loan transfer for the Atletico Madrid forward. Havertz is expected to return to Stamford Bridge next season, but it is unclear what role he will play, as the team searches for a new No.9.
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