Fofana dropped, Felix start - Chelsea stars contend for final start vs Newcastle   27/05/2023 06:00

In just over 24 hours, Chelsea's final game of the season and Frank Lampard will cement the final selection he makes during this period as caretaker boss. The Blues legend will depart, set to be replaced by Mauricio Pochettino but will hope to sign off with his first home win since taking charge in April.

The west London side will once again be without Reece James, while the likes of Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell are pushing to be fit for the clash. The former may have already made his last Chelsea appearances with the possibility of a summer transfer appearing more plausible after no significant contract talks since February.

The likes of Joao Felix and Denis Zakaria have the possibility of their final outing before the end of their respective loans with the Portuguese international managing a goalscoring return to action on Thursday. Despite a number of injuries, Lampard will not be short of options to choose from once again.

READ MORE: Every word Frank Lampard said on Reece James setback, Mason Mount and the next Chelsea manager's writers name the teams that they would choose to face the Toon Army on Sunday.

Scott Trotter

Kepa Arrizabalaga conceded four times against Manchester United but pulled off some outstanding saves to help keep the Red Devils' tally down. The Spaniard has not been perfect this season but has had a rejuvenated year and should be allowed to sign off the season in goal.

Wesley Fofana had a difficult evening at Old Trafford and could drop to the bench with Thiago Silva to return, but there's a big decision on whether Cesar Azpilicueta has the capability to face Alexander Isak, or whether the Blues are better served using Trevoh Chalobah in the position.

Lewis Hall and Enzo Fernandez are easy picks, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek's outing against Manchester City warrants him a place in the centre of the pitch ahead of a possible move to AC Milan this summer. Conor Gallagher is perhaps an obvious choice given the engine he has provided in the centre of the pitch, but if Chelsea take a gung-ho approach, Joao Felix could take on a No.10 role instead.

To make Carney Chukwuemeka's Under-20s World Cup absence worthwhile, another start seems deserved, while Mykhailo Mudryk could take to the bench with hopes of a reset in the summer along with the rest of the club. Noni Madueke has shown enough to be given another opportunity, however.

A difficult decision remains up front, and perhaps David Datro Fofana deserves more time on the pitch, after being caught in no-man's land since February. Kai Havertz did not do enough to guarantee a start, while if Raheem Sterling is fit, the Blues have struggled to use him as a focal point.

Not the most balanced team for the occasion, but it's one last chance for Chelsea to find some goals at home.

Scott's XI: Kepa; Azpilicueta, Chalobah, Silva, Hall; Fernandez, Loftus-Cheek; Madueke, Felix, Chukwuemeka; Fofana.

Bobby Vincent

I liked Chelsea the other day at Manchester United, despite being thrashed. They looked good at times so for that reason alone I’d stick with a four-back formation.

Trevoh Chalobah at right-back, Thiago Silva to return alongside Wesley Fofana, who did make some mistakes at Old Trafford. Lewis Hall simply has to continue at left-back.

Then in midfield I’d go Enzo Fernandez, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Carney Chukwuemeka. Conor Gallagher didn’t have his best game in Manchester and perhaps Loftus-Cheek deserves a go in the XI.

A front-three consisting of Noni Madueke, Mykhailo Mudryk and Joao Felix. Madueke did well against United, Mudryk not so much but he needs some confidence from somewhere and with it being the last game of the season and nothing riding on it, I’d start him here. Felix as the striker instead of Kai Havertz with the Portuguese attacker scoring a fine solo goal in the defeat to Man United earlier in the week.

Bobby's XI : Kepa; Chalobah, Silva, Fofana, Hall; Fernandez, Chukwuemeka, Loftus-Cheek; Madueke, Mudryk, Felix

Who is your Chelsea player of the season? Have your say by voting below!


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