Frank Lampard is hoping to end a run of sixth consecutive defeats when Chelsea face AFC Bournemouth in the Premier League.
Chelsea travel to the Vitality Stadium on Saturday to face an Bournemouth side who have won four of their last five league matches, which has seen them almost mathematically confirm their top-flight status for next season.
Gary O’Neil’s side are level on points with Chelsea heading into the weekend’s encounter down on the south coast and the Cherries boss was lauded pre-match by Lampard, who hailed the impact of the 39-year-old.
Lampard said: “(He’s done) a great job, full credit to him. I don’t know any of the details behind the scenes. He’s done a lot of good work there. He’s created a team with high energy, high quality, feeling of togetherness at the club. Considering where he came in, he’s done a good job and getting the credit he rightfully deserves.”
Chelsea are desperate to end their losing streak and record their first victory since March 11 in all competitions.
So how could Chelsea line-up against AFC Bournemouth?
Possible XI: Kepa, Fofana, Silva, Badiashile, Azpilicueta, Kante, Fernandez, Chilwell, Mudryk, Havertz, Madueke
Thiago Silva and Wesley Fofana are set to start again for the Blues. Lampard could opt to revert to a three-back system, leaving the door open for a return to the side for Benoit Badiashile.
The Frenchman is ‘very close’ to playing after Lampard hailed the central defender amid heavy competition in his position. Lampard said: “Very close (to playing). He couldn’t play in the Champions League for me. He played against Brighton, which is a difficult match for everybody. Of course, he’s close. He’s in competition with Thiago, Wesley and Trevoh in that area. He’s training well.
“He’s come here, a lot of players have come from a different league at a youngish age into the Premier League. I think it’s understandable to have moments of maybe game time, maybe moments of not, to a degree of a developing player, but more finding your feet in this league.”
Noni Madueke netted his first goal for Chelsea in midweek against Arsenal. Lampard promised he would get more opportunities in the final five games and he looks set to retain his starting role.
Kai Havertz could come in for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who was unable to impact the game against his former side Arsenal last time out. Mykhailo Mudryk, once again, showed flashes of positivity and will be itching to start against the Cherries.
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