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Predicted Chelsea XI to face Arsenal: Havertz set to return as Lampard makes Aubameyang call



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(Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Frank Lampard is still searching for his first win as Chelsea caretaker manager following a run of five consecutive defeats.

Chelsea will be hoping to clinch victory at the sixth attempt under the 44-year-old when they make the trip from west to north London on Tuesday to face their city rivals Arsenal.

Their disastrous season is almost over but Chelsea have six games to contend with before they are put out of their misery, a campaign which has seen them have four managers (including two interim) and reside in 12th place in the Premier League.

Lampard’s side are yet to win a game in almost two months. Their last three points came against relegation-threatened Leicester City on March 11. Since then, it’s been a dismal time – a reflection of how the 2022/23 campaign has gone.

The Chelsea caretaker boss is hoping his side can replicate the performance of the first 60 minutes against Real Madrid from their Champions League quarter-final first leg last month on Tuesday night when they head to the Emirates.

“Every game is different, tactically. In terms of togetherness that connected on the pitch, the first 60 minutes versus Madrid was very, very good other than the last bit, so we have to find that last bit.

“We have to be connected and show that same motivation and energy because Arsenal are a fantastic team, with very good players and a great team ethic. We have to match that as a start to try to get a result.”

So how could Chelsea line-up against Arsenal?

Possible XI: Kepa, Fofana, Silva, Badiashile, Azpilicueta, Kante, Fernandez, Chilwell, Gallagher, Mudryk, Aubameyang

Kalidou Koulibaly (hamstring) and Marc Cucurella (thigh) are both sidelined which could open the door for Trevoh Chalobah to start once again, or Benoit Badiashile, for Chelsea in an expected back three.

“Out for a while still (Koulibaly),” Lampard confirmed pre-match. “It’ll be a tight call for the season, to be fair. He’s working away. Been impressed as a professional, doing his job very well. Unfortunately the injury was a tough one.

“Cucurella probably another two weeks or so. It was a two or three week injury when he did it.”

Reece James and Mason Mount are both expected to be out for the rest of the season, while Kai Havertz (knee) returns to selection having trained ahead of the game after missing the Brentford defeat.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is pushing to start after his bright 45 minutes against Brentford, but it remains unclear if Lampard will promote him to the starting XI.