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Ruben Loftus-Cheek Chelsea

Chelsea take on Bate Borisov in their Europa League clash on Thursday as they look to continue their unbeaten run this season.

The Blues have played with a changed line-up in Europe’s other competition, and we should expect a number of changes to the side that beat Crystal Palace last weekend.

Maurizio Sarri should look to keep our main team fresh for the weekend’s game against Everton, and here is our predicted line-up for the Blues.

Predicted Chelsea XI

Formation: 4-3-3

Manager: Maurizio Sarri

Willy Caballero (GK)

Kepa Arrizabalaga should be rested for the weekend and the experienced Caballero should start this game.

Davide Zappacosta (RB)

The Italian right-back should be in-line for another start in the Europa League for Chelsea on Thursday.

Gary Cahill (CB)

Cahill hasn’t seen a lot of first-team minutes this season for Chelsea, however, the Europa League is his best bet for minutes under Sarri.

Andreas Christensen (CB)

The Dane is another player that hasn’t gotten a lot of minutes in the Premier League but should be part of the starting XI against Bate.

Emerson Palmieri (LB)

Emerson has been quality in the chances he has received for Chelsea and should start in place of Marcos Alonso against Bate.

Cesc Fabregas of Chelsea scores against Derby County

Cesc Fabregas (CM)

The Spanish star hasn’t been great this season for the Blues, but his experience will be useful in this tie.

Mateo Kovacic (CM)

The Croatian’s place in our starting XI has been taken up by Ross Barkley, hence Kovacic should get this game on Thursday.

N’Golo Kante (CM)

The Frenchman should start and be replaced later once the points are more or less made safe.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek (LW)

Loftus-Cheek has been one of the bright spots in our side this season and should get another start under his belt.

Olivier Giroud of Chelsea

Olivier Giroud

Olivier Giroud (ST)

Alvaro Morata scored a brace in our previous game but should be rested with Giroud leading the line.

Read more: Chelsea have to move quick to sign 18-year-old with £45million release clause

Pedro (RW)

The Spaniard played in our win over the Eagles but should start against the minnows on Thursday.


A View From The Bridge

Chelsea identify former Man United starlet as a cheaper alternative for £75m star



Frank lampard confirms that Chelsea are yet to bid for Kai Havertz

Chelsea earmark Angel Gomes as an alternative to Kai Havertz

According to the Express, Chelsea have earmarked former Manchester United starlet Angel Gomes as an alternative for Kai Havertz.

The 19-year-old was considered to be one of the best young players at the United academy. The club’s efforts to keep him came to nothing as he officially became a free agent on 1st July.

Costing nothing, he will cost significantly lower than Havertz, who is valued at about £75million.

Having already invested significantly in both Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner, the club could move for the cheaper option here.

Angel Gomes is seen as an alternative to Kai Havertz
Angel Gomes is seen as an alternative to Kai Havertz

Gomes was not happy to continue at Old Trafford owing to the limited opportunities afforded to him in the first-team. Since making his senior debut in 2017, he has made just 10 appearances since.

The youngster will find opportunities easier to come by at Chelsea. Frank Lampard has shown the willingness to play youth when necessary. The likes of Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, and Reece James have all broken into the first-team, with Christian Pulisic also becoming a key player.

Havertz is the much more glamourous option and is also at this moment a much better player. However, given his asking price, we could find value in signing Gomes instead.

Frank lampard has done well with his young squad
Frank Lampard has used a number of young players

The youngster is a talented player who had won the Jimmy Murphy Youth Team Player of the Year in 2017. If we can get his talent to bloom, he can become a worthwhile player to have.

Lampard had earlier spoke on the topic of the club signing Gomes. He confirmed that Chelsea have not made an offer for the former Red.

In the changing landscape of the transfer market, opportunities cannot be passed by. It remains to be seen if we indeed make a move for Gomes.

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Gomes has represented England at the youth level. He has made 34 appearances across different age groups.

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33-year-old veteran Chelsea star linked with a move to London rivals



Olivier Giroud of Chelsea

Oliver Giroud linked with a move to Tottenham Hotspur

According to the Daily Star, former Tottenham Hotspur star Paul Robinson has tipped Oliver Giroud to make a switch to his former club in the upcoming window.

This will put the Frenchman in a list of just two players who will have played for all three of London’s top teams. The only other player to do so was William Gallas, who spent five years at the Bridge at the turn of the century.

According to Robinson, Spurs boss Jose Mourinho is keen to bring in the Frenchman as a backup for Harry Kane.

Oliver Giroud has been tipped to join Tottenham Hotspur
Oliver Giroud has been tipped to join Tottenham Hotspur

Spurs failed to replace Fernando Llorente and Vincent Janssen, and have no senior striker to call on in place of the England captain.

The 33-year-old Giroud has spent most of the season on the periphery. However, he has stepped up magnificently in the absence of Tammy Abraham and has since penned a one-year extension at the club.

He has played in all three of our Premier League games from the restart, starting two of them. The addition of Timo Werner could see him drop down the pecking order, but he remains a potent option despite his advanced age.

William Gallas is the only player to play for all three of London's top clubs
William Gallas is the only player to play for two of London’s top clubs and also Spurs

The report goes on to say that Chelsea could still consider selling the player after in spite of him penning an extension. It is not the first time that the Lilywhites have been linked to our number 18. They were keen to sign him in January but were unable to do so.

Giroud has scored a number of key goals for us, the most important of them coming in the Europa League final against Arsenal last year. A game we won 4-1.

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Tammy Abraham has failed to reproduce the form he showcased at the beginning of the season. With Michy Batshuayi underperforming and Timo Werner needing to adjust, selling Giroud will be a gamble.

The Frenchman is an established striker who can still do a job for us. It would be ideal for us to keep him at the club and not sell him to a direct rival.

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Transfer News: Championship trio ready their knives in the battle for Chelsea youngster



Championship trio keen on Chelsea starlet Ike Ugbo

According to TeamTalk (h/t Derby Telegraph), a trio of Championship clubs has entered the race to sign promising Chelsea starlet Ike Ugbo.

The 21-year-joined has been at Chelsea since 2017. During this time, he has spent time out on loan at four different clubs.

A striker by trade, it is at Dutch side JC Roda that he has come into his own. Ugbo made 29 appearances for the Dutch second division side and has scored 13 goals and 3 assists. (h/t Transfermarkt)

Chelsea youngster Ike Ugbo is in demand among Championship clubs
Chelsea youngster Ike Ugbo is in demand among Championship clubs

This has garnered the attention of Derby County, West Bromwich Albion, and Nottingham Forest. Premier League side West Ham United have also been linked while Crystal Palace and Watford have also been credited with an interest. (h/t Derby Telegraph)

Although he is yet to make a senior appearance for Chelsea, he has represented the club at the youth level. He has registered 34 assists for the club’s Under-23s. (h/t Derby Telegraph)

The report states that he is likely to be sent out on loan. Given his impressive recent spell, he could be considered a catch for the second-tier clubs.

Michy Batshuayi has been abject
Michy Batshuayi has been abject

With his contract expiring next summer, it remains to be seen what Chelsea do.

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Timo Werner looks set to be our preferred option up front. Although Oliver Giroud is a dependable backup, Tammy Abraham has fallen off the pace while Michy Batshuayi has been abject.

Ugbo has shown in his recent spell at Roda that he has the ability to find the back of the net. Although there is a wide gap to bridge between the Dutch second division and the Premier League, it will be worth the trouble to use him as a backup to gauge his usefulness.

He certainly cannot do worse than Batsuayi. You never know, he could very well blossom into a dependable player.

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Chelsea willing to put ego aside in pursuit of promising young English star



Frank lampard wants Declan Rice to become Chelsea's defensive leader

Chelsea are interested in bringing back Declan Rice

According to the Athletic, Chelsea are willing to admit they were wrong in letting Declan Rice leave the club as a teenager.

The 21-year-old was on the club’s rolls as a youngster and came through the ranks alongside Mason Mount. He was however deemed not good enough and was let go in 2014.

The youngster moved to West Ham United, where has thrived since. One of the shining lights in what has been a disappointing campaign for his team, Rice has now emerged as a target for his former club.

Chelsea are willing to put their embarassment aside in the attempts to sign Declan Rice
Declan Rice was released by Chelsea as a teenager (Image Credits: Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Despite making his Hammers bow as a defensive midfielder, it is in the heart of the defence that he shines. Ironically, this is a position Chelsea could have done having him at.

According to the report, a club insider believes that bringing Rice back will prove to be an embarrassing decision for some. Although it is not the easiest thing to do to admit you are wrong, we feel not rectifying it this summer will be even worse.

“West Ham will demand a lot of money for him and this is a player the club had on their books and allowed to leave for free. Paying a vast sum could embarrass a few people.”

However, the club is also aware that not only is Rice a commanding defender but also adds leadership and communication at the back. Qualities that the Blues desperately require.

Declan Rice in action against Willian
Declan Rice in action against Willian

A young player with considerable experience, he will only get better with the right guidance. The Blues are undergoing a rebuild and Rice will fit in well.

“He is young and English too so you can see how he would fit in with what Chelsea are building there.”

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Strengthening ourselves at the back could make the difference between victory and defeat in the coming season. Yesterday’s setback at West Ham United showed that the need is as pressing as ever.

Should it happen, it will prove to be a triumphant return to the Bridge for the former Chelsea trainee. One that is in all honestly well earned.

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