Since taking over in July, Chelsea have exceeded popular expectation under Frank Lampard’s management

Utilizing the wealth of youngsters at his disposal amidst a transfer ban, Lampard has steadied the ship with some solid performances.
Despite the reality-check of a trouncing at Old Trafford on matchday one, Chelsea have sealed impressive performances against Wolves, Ajax twice in the Champions League and gutsy displays against every top six rival they’ve faced, and with the blues firmly in a top four place, the sky is Chelsea’s limit this season.
With the return of their regular November dip in form – Chelsea are winless in three since the international break – Lampard finds himself and his team with a point to prove. 

The loss to West Ham last weekend was not only the first to a non-top six rival but also the first time Lampard’s charges failed to score since matchday one. The four changes made from the away European fixture midweek took it’s toll on the team’s rhythm, with Pedro and Olivier Giroud match rusty in attack.

Now with Liverpool having gained an 11-point gap from Man City and Leicester only eight behind the Reds in second, Chelsea need a performance to prove they are top four material. Particularly with Tottenham’s redemption under José Mourinho now only six points away in fifth.

Batsman with a point to prove. (Chloe Knott/Danehouse/Getty Images).

Chelsea might welcome back top goalscorer Tammy Abraham for Aston Villa and John Terry’s visit, or opt for Michy Batshuayi, who pertinently has a thing or two to prove having sat out the weekend loss.

Christian Pulisic has become a key member of Chelsea’s attack in recent weeks and looks to keep it that way. Mason Mount has seen his brilliant early-season form evaporate in recent weeks and the academy graduate would be keen to keep results up.
In as much as Chelsea and Lampard are under less pressure this season, they would rather put up a fight to retain their top four place. Lampard knows first-hand about the winning mentality embedded in the club.

Mason Mount is one to have gone off-kilter in recent months. (AMA/Getty Images).

In truth, defensive problems have smeared Lampard’s time in charge and cost them in games.

Although Kepa showed improved form against West Ham, making three saves, the defense still has a lot to improve. The imminent return of Antonio Rüdiger from injury is sure to add quality and experience in equal measure to the defence.

For now Chelsea are faced with their toughest test this season, one they created themselves by being, according to Lampard “ahead of the curve”, are they true top four candidates? 

Wednesday night at the bridge couldn’t come quickly enough
Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin
December 3, 2019
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Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin

Chief Editor of the Football Castle, Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin is a football junkie and writer of the beautiful game.

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