Chelsea boss Frank Lampard will be hoping for a strong showing from his team when they face-off against Barcelona in Tuesday’s friendly encounter at the Saitama Stadium in Japan.
The Blues have endured a mixed run of fortunes in pre-season and they have managed just one win from the three matches played under the guidance of Lampard.
As such, they need to show an improvement and the Blaugrana game could witness a number of players being given with more than 45 minutes on the playing field.
Predicted Chelsea Lineup:
Kepa Arrizabalaga has returned to training after a stomach bug and he should get his first taste of pre-season action against the Spanish champions.
In the defence, no changes may be likely from the previous starting XI and we are anticipating Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso in the full-back roles with Kurt Zouma and David Luiz featuring in between them.
Likewise, the midfield should remain unchanged for the beginning at the least. Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic will be the likelier pair to start the game ahead of Danny Drinkwater and Ross Barkley.
N’Golo Kante, on the other hand, has returned to the club’s training base as he has yet to fully recover from a knee injury picked up towards the end of last season.
In the attack, Mason Mount could get another run in the number 10 position while he could be partnered by Christian Pulisic and Pedro either side.
Pulisic has largely featured on the right side of the attack at the club level, but he has recently been successful on the opposite end with the United States, and that should aide his settling period with the Blues.
Michy Batshuayi seems likely to get the nod over Olivier Giroud to lead the line as in the previous three games. The Belgian has impressed with his impressive workrate but he needs to find more consistency in terms of scoring.