Liverpool’s thrilling win against Manchester City on Sunday evening meant that Chelsea finished Gameweek 12 on the third place, level on points with Leicester City who sit in second place while being one point clear of Manchester City who are uncomfortably fourth. At the beginning of the season, if someone said this is how Chelsea’s season was going to play out, most of the club’s ardent followers would’ve laughed at their face.
Frank Lampard’s Chelsea have been frightfully beautiful to watch. The young guns of Chelsea have embraced the transfer ban and grabbed their opportunities by the scruff of its neck. Their efforts and brilliance in the Premier League and the Champions League have not gone unnoticed. Five of Chelsea’s young English players have been called up by England manager to be a part of the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers. Fikayo Tomori, Mason Mount, Ross Barkley, Tammy Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odoi have all been called up.
Abraham who recently notched up his 10th goal in the Premier League has been in stupendous form while Mason Mount has been an ever-present member in the starting line up along with Tomori. Hudson-Odoi has slowly integrated himself back into the starting lineup. Although, with Christian Pulisic’s red hot form in the last few games, it has been difficult for the English winger to nail down a starting spot. Ross Barkley withdrew yesterday from the English squad owing to his injury which has kept him out of this Chelsea team for the last 3 weeks.
Kepa Arrizabalaga also made the Spanish team along with United’s David de Gea and Roma’s Pau Lopez. The French national team also did not leave out Kurt Zouma, N’Golo Kante and Olivier Giroud for their upcoming international matches. Though it’s interesting to notice Giroud being still kept in the mix considering his lack of match time in the Chelsea set up with Abraham and Batshuayi well up in the pecking order. The Deschamp-Lampard war of words on the selection of Kante who was just declared fit and only played the game against Crystal Palace while also just making the bench against Ajax is another aspect to keep an eye on this International break.
The ever-reliable Italians, Jorginho and Emerson were selected by Mancini for their Euro qualifiers as well.
Jorginho has been in scintillating form for the Blues and has become an even more important member under Lampard, marshalling the midfield along with Mateo Kovacic, who has also been called up by the Croatia national team. Kovacic’s lung-bursting dribbles and ball retention against tough physical opponents in the Premier League has helped Chelsea boss in the midfield and create a high number of chances every game.
Michy Batshuayi has also been called up to be a part of the Belgian setup for their remaining Euro qualifiers. Willian’s game has improved leaps and bounds since Lampard’s arrival and has been rewarded with a call-up to the Brazil national team for their upcoming friendlies. The creme of the crop since the last International break has been the US International Christian Pulisic. Brought into Chelsea to replace the brilliance of the Madrid bound Eden Hazard, it has taken him time to adjust to the demands of the English game. The Pennsylvania born winger, though has proved to Lampard that he deserves to start every game after scoring 5 goals since the last International break, starting with a hat-trick against Burnley, before following it up with a goal apiece against Watford and Crystal Palace.
Ethan Ampadu made it to the Welsh team for their Euro qualifiers, while it doesn’t seem like a distant possibility before Reece James, who became the youngest goal scorer for Chelsea in the Champions League and then providing a brilliant display against Crystal Palace while also keeping quiet one of the league’s best dribbler in the form of Wilfred Zaha, make his senior England debut.
Chelsea face Manchester City in the Premier League on the 23rd of November and they definitely would require the services of all their players if they are to overcome the defending Champions away from home, so they definitely could do without any injuries to the whole squad.
Keep The Blue Flag Flying High!!!
- Utsha Sarkar