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Kepa to return, Willian could be key – Chelsea’s Predicted lineup for premier league clash with Manchester United

As Chelsea’s winter break draws to a close, we look forward to an all important huge clash with Manchester United. Both clubs are in the hunt for a top-four spot, and face off at Stamford Bridge on Monday evening.

Predicted lineup

Formation: 4-3-3

Goalkeeper

Kepa Arrizabalaga will be hoping to return after a lengthy break. The Spaniard was left out of the Blues 2-2 draw at Leicester City a fortnight ago. Willy Caballero will be in contention, but I suspect Frank Lampard will give Kepa a chance to redeem himself.

Defenders

Reece James must continue at right-back. His undoubted ability has been a huge plus point to Chelsea’s season. There have been plenty of changes at centre-back this season. The best partnership in my opinion is Antonio Rudiger, alongside Fikayo Tomori. Cesar Azpilicueta should start at left-back. There’s still a lot of choice for that role. Marcos Alonso, and Emerson Palmieri will be in contention, but Azpilicueta is the captain, so I doubt he’ll miss such a big fixture.

Midfielders

This is where the game could be won or lost. Mateo Kovacic must start. His tigerish battling qualities will be needed. Alongside N’Golo Kante, with Mason Mount ahead of them in an attacking role would be my preference. The Kante, Kovacic, Jorginho combination has largely not worked together. One has to be dropped, and unfortunately that’s Jorginho for this game.

Front three

Christian Pulisic is still out injured so won’t figure unfortunately. That will give Callum Hudson-Odoi another opportunity to stake a claim. Willian looks certain to start. The Brazilians experience could be key to unlocking United’s defence. Tammy Abraham will face a late fitness test, but I expect Lampard to start the 22-year-old again. There is a chance that Olivier Giroud will have held talks with the Chelsea boss during the break. So maybe the Frenchman has a chance of starting if Abraham is deemed unfit.

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