Under fire Frank Lampard will take charge of Chelsea’s fourth-round FA Cup tie with Luton on Sunday at 12pm (UK time) knowing defeat could spell serious danger for his tenure.
Chelsea’s recent 2-0 defeat to Leicester extended the gap between Chelsea and Premier League leaders Manchester United to 11 points, with the Blues now eighth in the table at the halfway stage, putting huge emphasis on Lampard to get a result against Luton on Sunday.
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Where to watch Chelsea vs Luton Town on TV:
- UK: BBC One
- US: ESPN+
Scoreline prediction: Chelsea 2-0 Luton Town
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Chelsea vs Luton Town build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
Chelsea have been labouring in the Premier League these past two months, with Lampard yet to determine his strongest XI and unsure of his best system. So, the FA Cup may come as a welcome distraction for the Blues boss, who has come increasingly under pressure with his side currently languishing quite precariously in mid table. A win here would see his side meet either Barnsley or Norwich City in the fifth round.
In his second stint at Kenilworth Road, Nathan Jones has got the Bedfordshire-based club sitting comfortably in the Championship, 13 points away from danger and nine points adrift of sixth, while they have already sealed a 1-0 win over Reading in the third round of this competition.
- Chelsea (vs Leicester): Mendy; James, Rudiger, Silva, Chilwell; Mount, Kovacic, Havertz, Pulisic, Hudson-Odoi; Abraham.
- Luton Town (vs Brentford): Sluga; Bree, Lockyer, Bradley, Potts; Ruddock, Cornick, Berry, Dewsbury-Hall, Moncur; Collins.
Olivier Giroud and N’Golo Kante both face late fitness tests, but other than that, Lampard’s squad has a clean bill of health. As for the visitors, Eunan O’Kane and Martin Cranie are both major doubts.
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Players to watch:
- Chelsea: Lampard has the juggling act of trying to get Chelsea’s season back on track in the Premier League, while also ensuring promising youngsters like Billy Gilmour and Callum Hudson-Odoi get plenty of minutes to accelerate their respective developments. The latter has been afforded opportunities of late, but Gilmour has largely been on the fringes since returning from a long-term knee injury. Still only 19, the Scotland U21 international was sensational in his fleeting appearances last season and fans will be clamouring for his inclusion if Chelsea don’t pick up form soon. This weekend presents a huge opportunity for Gilmour to gain some valuable minutes and pit his wits against a difficult Championship club.
- Luton Town: Lampard has plenty of options to choose from and will likely give the likes of Kai Havertz and misfiring Timo Werner a run out on Sunday, which will make the inclusion of Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu in Jones’ starting XI absolutely vital. The former West Ham midfielder is an all-action No. 6, offering bundles of energy and enterprise in the middle of the park. His dynamism will be key if Luton are to disrupt Chelsea’s rhythm and gain a foothold in this contest, while his lung-busting runs from deep will help the Hatters relieve pressure and get up the pitch.
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