Chelsea XI vs Leeds: Confirmed team news and lineup - Olivier Giroud starts

James Robson
·3-min read
 (ES Composite)
(ES Composite)

Frank Lampard admitted it would impossible to ignore Olivier Giroud after the striker’s four goals in the Champions League in midweek - and the World Cup winner starts against Leeds United.

Lampard had said in the build-up: “I don't think it's a case of giving any player assurances of game time. With the competitive squad we have that's very difficult to do.

“All you want is the players, when they are out of the team, to train well, get themselves in the team and perform like Oli did the other day.

“And playing the way he did the other night, clearly, he's going to have opportunities, because that was just a top-class performance all-round.”

Lampard has a fully fit squad, which just underlines the strength in depth he has at his disposal – and the challenge for Giroud to force his way into the team.

It has left the France international to consider his future in a major tournament year.

Lampard added that he was unable to confirm if the 34-year-old is happy with his situation as the January window nears.

He said: “I can't answer that for Oli, I can't. All I can say from my point of view, in that forward area I have competition for places.

“Tammy Abraham has been playing very well for us this season, scoring goals and making assists.

“He brings attributes, Olivier as he showed the other night, brings his attributes. So that's great competition for me.

“I can't give assurances, and you'd have to ask Oli. I never see anything negative from Oli, and I've got huge respect for him.”

Lampard comes up against Marcelo Bielsa for the first time in the Premier League.

The pair clashed during the Chelsea manager’s time at Derby in the now infamous ‘spygate’ incident, when Bielsa tried to watch Lampard’s training sessions ahead of a match.

“It's in the past, I'm certainly not going to dwell on it going into this game,” said Lampard. “I've always had the respect for him as a coach.

“It was a great news story. It had a lot to it and now it's gone.

“I just look at him and how well he did, he brought Leeds up the year after.

“They were probably the strongest Championship team the year we played them at Derby, so it was a very proud moment for myself actually to go up against him and win that game.

“But it's a game long gone now, and they are now a team in great form. So I just see the football side of it now.

“I'm absolutely not concerned about what lessons he's learned or not.

“It's long gone. I respect him, I respect Leeds.”

Chelsea XI: Mendy, James, Zouma, Thiago Silva, Chilwell, Havertz, Kante, Mount, Ziyech, Giroud, Werner

Subs: Arrizabalaga, Rudiger, Jorginho, Abraham, Pulisic, Kovacic, Azpilicueta

Leeds XI: Meslier, Ayling, Koch, Cooper, Dallas, Raphinha, Klich, Phillips, Alioski, Harrison, Bamford

Subs: Poveda-Ocampo, Roberts, Casilla, Llorente, Helder Costa, Rodrigo, Struijk

Referee: Kevin Friend

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