There will be no time to rest for Frank Lampard and his Chelsea team after Saturday night’s hectic showdown against West Bromwich Albion, which ended in a disappointing draw.

The upcoming week will include two matches, the first being on Tuesday night with a Carabao Cup London Battle against José Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur.

In a perfectly normal season a such game would provide the manager the opportunity to rotate a bit – or a lot actually – in a busy schedule to keep legs fresh and fringe players happy. Last season we saw a game against Grimsby that was famously known for introducing a bunch of academy players to the team – and to most fans.

This season is obviously much different. With a lot of new quite pivotal players and practically no pre-season, Frank Lampard must waste no time trying to make this team gel as rapidly as possible. And with Saturday’s loss of points the pressure has only increased. Add to that an upcoming international break, which will not come in handy for Lampard. Most of the squad will be spread all across Europe for more than a week. A lot of important work will be hindered in that period.

Frank Lampard must put on a strong team, as close the actual ‘A Team’ as possible. It will be an important further 90 minutes for players like Kai Havertz and Timo Werner – and possibly Thiago Silva and Ben Chillwell as well – and the players surrounding them.

But the game also presents a dilemma to Frank Lampard. Facing a strong Crystal Palace team on Saturday, some players may need a rest before that game. Mason Mount has played all minutes so far and is likely to feature a lot for England next week. This game could provide an opportunity to give Mount a bit of rest, but will Frank Lampard be willing to rest a key player who is so crucial to the team’s style of play and therefore important to link up with for the likes of Werner and Havertz?

Also – Chelsea FC is a club that needs to fight for titles. If Chelsea win against Tottenham the quarter finals will be the next step, which means that the club will only be two steps away from qualifying to another final.

Therefore Frank Lampard must balance the team right on Tuesday, but he absolutely HAS TO prioritise the game.

Johan Strange

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