Chelsea team news: Predicted 4-3-3 line up vs Newcastle – Injury crisis worsens

Chelsea suffered several injury blows over the international break, placing even more strain on Frank Lampard’s squad ahead of this weekend’s meeting with Newcastle.

A number of Blues players were on duty for their countries over the past two weeks, with N’Golo Kante, Andreas Christensen (both groin) and Mateo Kovacic (knock) suffering fitness issues.

The trio are all doubtful for the weekend and look set to join Ruben Loftus-Cheek on the treatment table.

Reece James is also expected to miss the clash with Newcastle due to an ankle problem but Emerson Palmieri and Antonio Rudiger are both closing in on a return.

The German centre-back recovered from a long-term knee injury to play against Wolves last month but was replaced at half-time with a groin issue.

Rudiger is in contention to feature against the Magpies, although Lampard is most likely to deploy Fikayo Tomori and Kurt Zouma in central defence.

Captain Cesar Azpilicueta will start at right-back while Marcos Alonso will line up on the opposite side of the back four.

Jorginho should continue at the base of midfield while Ross Barkley is expected to get the nod after an eye-catching performance for England against Bulgaria.

The 25-year-old has been out of favour under Lampard but two goals and an assist in Sofia was a timely reminder of his talents.

Mason Mount should complete the midfield trio while Willian and Pedro are in contention to start on the right flank.

Callum Hudson-Odoi is expected to line up on the left after his return from injury before the international break while Tammy Abraham will lead the line.

Christian Pulisic, Olivier Giroud and Michy Batshuayi will all have to be content with places on the bench while Isaac Hayden is suspended for Newcastle.

Chelsea predicted line-up vs Newcastle United – Premier League

(4-3-3): Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Tomori, Zouma, Alonso; Jorginho, Barkley, Mount; Willian, Hudson-Odoi, Abraham

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