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Cesc Fabregas of Chelsea scores against Derby County

Maurizio Sarri will get his first taste of the FA Cup as Chelsea host Nottingham Forest on Saturday. The Blues come off a disappointing 0-0 draw against Southampton in their previous tie and would want to put up a better showing at the weekend.

There could be a mixed team sent out for the clash as Forest cannot be taken lightly. The Championship side lies seventh in the table as they chase Premier League promotion.

The FA Cup is known to produce shocks, however, Chelsea should have enough quality to beat Forest, and here is the predicted line-up for the Blues.

Predicted Chelsea XI

Formation: 4-3-3

Manager: Maurizio Sarri

Willy Caballero (GK)

Kepa Arrizabalaga has been a mainstay since joining in the summer and could be given a break with the experienced keeper taking over.

Davide Zappacosta (RB)

The Italian has played most of our cup games this season, and it should not change ahead of this tie either.

Andreas Christensen (CB)

The Dane should be another player that comes into the team after failing to regularly play in the Premier League.

David Luiz Chelsea

David Luiz

David Luiz (CB)

Luiz should be in the line-up as his experience will be crucial in getting us the win.

Emerson Palmieri (LB)

Palmieri should also start for us on Saturday as we give Marcos Alonso a rest against Forest.

Cesc Fabregas (CM)

The Spaniard would provide a lot of experience to this mixed Chelsea side as we look to progress into the fourth round.

Ethan Ampadu of Chelsea

Ethan Ampadu

Ethan Ampadu (CM)

There are great things expected from the youngster at Stamford Bridge, and hopefully, he gets a start against the lower-league opposition.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek (CM)

The Englishman deserves more starts for Chelsea and should be in the XI to face Forest.

Callum Hudson-Odoi (RW)

The youngster hasn’t played many minutes this season, but should start on Saturday.

Alvaro Morata Chelsea

Alvaro Morata (ST)

Olivier Giroud’s injury means more playing time for Morata as he looks to find a goal somehow for Chelsea.

Read more: Chelsea target £50m-rated Premier League star as an alternative for Gonzalo Higuain

Eden Hazard (LW)

The Belgian would have wanted a bit of a rest but with Willian and Pedro doubts, Hazard must start against Forest.

A View From The Bridge

Defensive duo on the firing line as Lampard plans January clear-out

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LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 22: Frank Lampard manager of Chelsea celebrates his teams victory over Spurs during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on February 22, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Chelsea to part ways with Emerson Palmieri or Marcos Alonso in January

According to Goal (h/t Football.london), Chelsea manager Frank Lampard could be set to part with either Marcos Alonso or Emerson Palmieri in the January transfer window.

The Blues are coming off a brilliant summer window that saw them address key deficiencies in the squad.

Signing Ben Chilwell has proven to be a masterstroke, with the Englishman now the club’s undisputed choice at left-back. With both Emerson and Alonso now moving down a notch, one of them is expendable come the new year.

Ben Chilwell is an injury worry for Chelsea
Ben Chilwell is the first choice left-back at Chelsea

Both players have hardly featured all season for the Blues. While Emerson appears to be above Alonso in the pecking order, he has made just one brief appearance in the Premier League.

Emerson nearly moved to Juventus last summer. However, the deal fell through as the deadline approached. Serie A giants Inter Milan are also interested in securing his services.

Alonso too has hardly fared much better. The Spaniard had a falling out with Lampard after West Brom fiasco and has not featured since.

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard could be set to part with either Marcos Alonso or Emerson Palmieri in the January transfer window.
Emerson Palmieri (Left) is attracting attention from Serie-A

With neither player playing a key role in the squad this season, offloading one wouldn’t affect us adversely.

As things stand, it would appear that Alonso is the one who does not have a future at the club. He is yet to feature for us since September and the club has not missed him at all.

Emerson meanwhile appears to be the one attracting suitors and could fetch us better value. What the club decides to do remains to be seen.

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard could be set to part with either Marcos Alonso or Emerson Palmieri in the January transfer window.
Marcos Alonso has not played for the club since September

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Chelsea are enjoying a fine run of form with players stepping up several notches. With both quality and strength in depth at his disposal, Lampard has what it takes to launch a determined title bid.

The Blues next face Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United at Stamford Bridge. Fans will be back in attendance for the first time since March.

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A View From The Bridge

Out-of-favour Chelsea star keen to stay put at Stamford Bridge after key performance

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Chelsea midfielder Jorginho has spoken about the joy he felt seeing Olivier Giroud his first goal in the Champions League this season. (GETTY Images)

Olivier Giroud keen to stay put and win trophies at Chelsea

According to The Daily Mail, Chelsea have been handed a major boost in the title challenge with Olivier Giroud looking set to see out the season with the club.

The 34-year-old was linked with a move away in the January transfer window. A major reason for the potential exit was his lack of playing time this season.

With Timo Werner and Tammy Abraham ahead of him in the Chelsea pecking order, the veteran Frenchman is far from guaranteed regular time on the field.

Chelsea have been handed a major boost in the title challenge with Olivier Giroud looking set to see out the season with the club.
Olivier Giroud open to staying on at Chelsea (GETTY Images)

Giroud however knows how to make his point and did exactly that against Sevilla midweek. Having already qualified for the last 16, Frank Lampard rang in the changes for the trip to Spain.

The 34-year-old showcased his ability by grabbing all four goals in the 4-0 win. It also included a perfect hat-trick as Chelsea guaranteed stop spot in their group.

Giroud has received more playing time of late and it would appear that his position to leave has somewhat softened.

Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech have been excellent for Chelsea
Timo Werner is the club’s top striker

As long as he continues to feature regularly, the 34-year-old is more than happy to see out his contract at Stamford Bridge.

 “I am a happy man and proud to be a Chelsea player.”

Giroud confirmed that his conversation with Didier Deschamps played a key role in his desire to leave. With the Euros coming up next summer, the French boss was keen to have the striker play regularly to stay in contention.

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Olivier Giroud will consider his Chelsea future in January
Olivier Giroud scored a perfect hat-trick at Sevilla (Getty Images)

Giroud has stepped up massively when needed for Chelsea. He did so last season after Abraham got injured and is repeating the same this time around as well.

The fact that he is far from assured starting spot against Leeds United is more to do with the competition at the club than his form. Having such a dependable striker to call upon only gives us more ammo in the title chase.

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ARTICLES

Report – Chelsea lost out to Arsenal in the race for Declan Rice alternative in the summer

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Chelsea lost out on Thomas Partey to Arsenal in the summer transfer window. (GETTY Images)

Chelsea lost out to Arsenal in the race for Thomas Partey

A report by the Telegraph (h/t Metro) has revealed that Chelsea were interested in signing Thomas Partey in the summer as an alternative to Declan Rice, but were beaten to the punch by rivals Arsenal.

Frank Lampard spent over £200m in the summer to recruit players all over the pitch and wanted to spend more to bring a defensive midfielder.

Chelsea were interested in signing West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice, but an £80m million valuation put on him by the Hammers made Chelsea back out from the deal.

Chelsea were interested in signing Thomas Partey in the summer from Atletico Madrid. (GETTY Images)
Chelsea were interested in signing Thomas Partey in the summer from Atletico Madrid. (GETTY Images)

Lampard still managed to bring in Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, Kai Hvertz, Thiago Silva, and £50m left-back Ben Chilwell before the deadline day in the summer.

The report states that Chelsea were prepared to sign Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey as an alternative Declan Rice for half the price, but Arsenal met his release clause on deadline day.

Thomas Partey has been one of the few star performers in an underwhelming Arsenal side this season, and his addition to Chelsea’s midfield would have surely benefitted Lampard.

Lampard strengthened the squad in all departments of the pitch but still failed to bring in a defensive midfielder, although he has been aided by the fact that N’Golo Kante has regained his fitness and form and become an important part of Chelsea’s midfield again.

Declan Rice will be pursued by Chelsea again in the January transfer window. (GETTY Images)
Declan Rice will be pursued by Chelsea again in the January transfer window. (GETTY Images)

Chelsea are still interested in signing Declan Rice, and will try to sign the 21-year-old Englishman again in the January transfer window. (h/t Metro)

It is being said that the Chelsea board felt the price they paid for Ben Chilwell was excessive but have been led to believe that the move was worth the money because of the Englishman’s stellar performances this season.

Lampard is hoping that the same logic will apply to Declan Rice and hence Chelsea could put in a bid for him again in the winter transfer window. (h/t Metro)

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Rival Watch: Leeds to be without four first-team stars against Chelsea on Saturday

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Leeds United will have 4 senior players out when they travel to face Chelsea this weekend. (GETTY Images)

Marcelo Bielsa to be without 4 players due to injury troubles

Speaking in his press conference (h/t football.london) before the match against Chelsea on Saturday, Marcelo Bielsa revealed that Leeds United will travel to Stamford Bridge without four first-team players due to injury.

Chelsea prepare to face Leeds United in the Premier League in the Blues’ first match in front of their home fans since March.

Chelsea have had a flying start to the season which has seen them lose only one Premier League game. Lampard’s men sit 3rd in the league table, just 2 points both Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur.

Frank Lampard and Marcelo Bielsa will rekindle their rivalry this weekend in the Premier League. (GETTY Images)
Frank Lampard and Marcelo Bielsa will rekindle their rivalry this weekend in the Premier League. (GETTY Images)

Chelsea missed a chance to go top of the Premier League table last weekend when they drew 0-0 to league leaders Tottenham Hotspur.

However, the Blues know that they could go top of the table if they get a positive result against Leeds and if results elsewhere go in their favour.

Leeds United have had a decent start to their season as they sit 12th in the league. Bielsa’s men impressed last weekend as they secured all three points against Everton, courtesy of a winning goal from Raphinha.

However, they will travel to Stamford Bridge without new signing Diego Llorente, who is fit to play but has been asked to train with the Leeds United U-23s to regain match fitness.

Chelsea and Leeds United have enjoyed some historic encounters in the past. (GETTY Images)
Chelsea and Leeds United have enjoyed some historic encounters in the past. (GETTY Images)

The same applies for Adam Forshaw, Jamie Shackleton, and veteran Spanish playmaker Pablo Hernandez, all of whom will be training with the youth team to regain match fitness. (h/t football.london)

Bielsa revealed in his press conference that the players have regained fitness, but are still not match fit.

“When a player goes so long without playing, one of the ways to help his recovery is to propose an activity similar to games in the Premier League. “Knowing that you can manage his game time and the level is a little bit lower. This is the ideal process, especially when players have repeated muscular injuries. Which is the case of Shackleton, Pablo and Llorente.”

On the plus sides for Leeds United, Jack Harrison is expected to shake off a minor leg issue to feature against Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday. (h/t football.london)

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