The friendly train rolls on!
Chelsea take on J League side Kawasaki Frontale in Yokohama on Friday for our third friendly of pre-season. Kawasaki are 3rd in the J League only 4 points behind league leaders FC Tokyo. With the season going on Kawasaki could look to field a weaker squad but because the likes of Chelsea don’t visit too often I expect to see a full lineup against the blues. Kawasaki are definitely a step up from the sides we faced in Ireland last week and so they are a good test to take before facing Barcelona next week.
Chelsea travelled to Yokohama on Monday and have been training there since. After initially just stretching and getting used to the surroundings the players have been having double sessions everyday as Lampard gets to know they players at his disposal. As we progress further into pre-season and approach August we should begin to see the lineup that Lampard might field against United for the first game of the season.
Chelsea Team Preview
Chelsea took a 25 man squad to Japan consisting of –
Goalkeepers – Kepa, Caballero, Cumming
Defenders – Azpilicueta, Zappacosta, Zouma, Christensen, Luiz, Tomori, Emerson, Alonso
Midfielders – Jorginho, Kovacic, Kante, Bakayoko, Mount, Barkley, Drinkwater
Forwards – Pulisic, Kennedy, Pedro, Palmer, Batshuayi, Abraham, Giroud
The big addition in this squad is 20 year old Christian Pulisic who joined the squad in Japan on Monday after cutting his holidays short. Pulisic looked like he was enjoying his first day with the squad as we introduced to everyone by Lampard and seemed to be gelling with all players. The first obstacle that Pulisic faced in Germany was the language barrier but that barrier has already been removed at Chelsea and all he needs to do is focus on his game. Pulisic does not need to live up to anyone he should be the best version of himself and if he can develop over the years we will have one of the best players in our ranks.
The rest of the loan and youth players were left at home as what I said came true. RLC, CHO, Reece James, and Rudiger are the only players missing that are going to feature in the squad. The likes of Gilmour, while having impressed are better off in the youth ranks and might feature in cup games. Ampadu is being sent out on loan to play regularly similar to Mount, James etc. The likes of Palmer, Kennedy, and Bakayoko are probably going to leave the squad at some point and Zappacosta could have too if Reece was fit. Lampard should once again play two different 11’s in each half.
Starting XI Prediction
The above is the lineup I would like to see in one of the halves but I expect Lampard to deploy some version of the above mentioned players during the game. COME ON YOU BLUES!!!