With the games coming thick and fast in three different competitions, Frank Lampard has admitted that he may have to consider changes to his team selection when Manchester United are the visitors to west London in the League Cup.
Lampard made just one change at Turf Moor at the weekend from the midweek victory in Amsterdam, a result of our strong form and seven-game winning run in recent weeks. However, he knows that rotation must be considered as we head towards the winter schedule and he is confident in the strength of the Chelsea squad to take on the upcoming challenges.
‘I have to be aware of the fact that we haven’t changed the team very much,’ he said in his pre-match press conference at Cobham. ‘That’s my prerogative when I think the team is playing pretty well but this game may be an opportunity for other players who are not playing.
‘It’s not necessarily to do with age, more to do with minutes in games and that might mean some of the more experienced players who haven’t played as much will have an opportunity.
‘Kante isn’t fit, neither is Rudiger,’ continued the boss, ruling the pair out of our second meeting of the season with the Red Devils. The first came on the opening weekend of the season and was a harsh lesson for the Blues as we played well but were cut open on the break and beaten 4-0 at Old Trafford.
Since then, the trajectory of the two sides has moved in different directions but Lampard does not believe that meeting will have any impact on the cup tie at Stamford Bridge.
‘We’ve said nothing about that,’ he admitted. ‘It feels like a million miles away.
‘I’m not disregarding it because when you play against a top team like Manchester United, with top players, they can hurt you in moments and they did it to us four times in a game that we performed pretty well in. I don’t think the context of that is going to be hugely relevant tomorrow night.’
Lampard also offered an insight into his team selection thinking ahead of our sixth game of the month.
‘As a player, I wanted to play every game but the beauty of sitting on this side is you do see things slightly differently and you have time to think about the bigger picture. The demands on the players are even more in the modern day so I have to take those things into account but we’re not taking this game lightly even if I make changes - I’ll make them because I believe in the squad being strong throughout.
‘If there are players who step out of the line-up with a view to the coming weeks, it will be done with the big picture in mind. I understand how players are and they want to play so we’ll try to have the right conversations and let them know what the position is.
‘The [physical] output from the last two games has been really strong for a lot of players so we have to look at that side as well, to take into account rest and strains on the body for the players.'