Manchester United vs Chelsea: Big decisions for Frank Lampard today. Which one is key?

Frank Lampard takes his first game in charge as Chelsea manager with the Premier League opener against Manchester United at Old Trafford....

Frank Lampard takes his first game in charge as Chelsea manager with the Premier League opener against Manchester United at Old Trafford. With some big, key decisions to be made this morning on our starting eleven and the formation, I am asking you the Chelsea fans to decide which one is key?

Let's start by saying that there are numerous decisions to be made by Frank and his coaching team today which are important and I wanted to go through each one in my head as if I were Frank sitting at the team hotel having breakfast this morning.

The starting formation. 

It's the first day of the season, you are looking for a good start and to ensure you do not start with a negative outcome. It really is stick or twist for me this afternoon at the start of the game. Should Frank Lampard stick with the 4-2-3-1 formation that has a real emphasis on attacking football or, should he look to crowd our midfield with a 4-3-3 formation to ensure we remain compact, to not give anything away and to allow the front three to do all the damage?

Or, the alternative option would be the 4-4-2 diamond. Should we start with two up front, stick the wingers on the bench and play narrow? Isn't it nice to know we have a team that can adapt to any situation to play free rather than just stick to one formation!


The first of the key decisions to be made is who starts at left-back? Either way in the formation we decide to adopt this afternoon, we will be starting with a back-four and its a toss up between these two. Marcos Alonso is excellent getting forward and having an influence out wide and inside the box - think of all the goals he has scored since he arrived. However, he isn't the best defender in the squad and in a big game such as this, it must be taken into consideration.

N'Golo Kante. 

The Frenchman returned to full training over the past week and as Frank Lampard stated himself in his pre-match press conference, " His fit but is he match-fit?". We have seen that we have played with Jorginho/Kovacic for most of pre-season in the 4-2-3-1 formation. Does one of them miss out to incorporate Kante? Do we play with a three-man midfield with all three of these players starting meaning that the likes of Barkley and Mount have to settle for a place on the bench?


These two have been the stand-out performers for us this pre-season. Both have made a real impact playing in various positions and it will be interesting to see who out of these two starts if Frank Lampard decides to play with the 4-2-3-1 formation. If he does then I would expect to see Ross Barkley get the nod over Mason Mount as Barkley looks like a player reborn under Lampard. It's clear the shackles are off and he has been given the freedom to play, to influence the game in the final third.

However, as I have said earlier, if Frank wants to play safe with a three-man midfield in the 4-3-3 formation in the first-half, we probably will not see either of them start the game.


Again, driven by the decision made as to which formation we decide to start with, the question is who should start the game this afternoon. Now, let's put things into perspective, should we go with experience initially? Should we give someone who has already proven he can score goals both here and at Crystal Palace a chance? Or revert to the exuberance of youth?

In a big game such as this, Olivier Giroud could get the nod to use all his experience to lead the line, to bring others into play and go up against the United defence. Think of their new man Harry Maguire starting for United today - will he be too imposing for Batshuayi? Will he be the same for Abraham?

Or, do you decide to go with Tammy Abraham and his god-given talent to find the back of the net, finally giving him opportunity to start for Chelsea in the Premier League?

To conclude.

As you can see there are some big, big decisions to be made by Frank Lampard as he takes charge of Chelsea in the Premier league for the first time. We start with a clash away against one of our direct rivals for a top four finish. Of all the key areas mentioned above - which one for you is key?

Come on Chelsea!

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