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EVEN before Andreas Christensen’s disastrous red card swung the match in Liverpool’s favour during last week’s victory at Stamford Bridge, there was little in the Chelsea game plan to suggest they had the ingenuity to overcome Jurgen Klopp’s men.
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard will be hopeful that given his expensive overhaul of the squad, his side will begin to realise their potential. Club owner Roman Abramovich will be looking on with interest.
Chelsea travel to West Bromwich Albion today still hurting after that home defeat by last season’s champions.
The manner of the 2-0 loss, which included a blunder by Kepa Arrizabalaga for the second goal, has given Lampard much to think about as he looks over those he considers for his first team.
The spending, however, is not done. West Ham United’s Declan Rice is the next transfer target with a deal for the young midfielder thought to be nearing completion.
Lampard will be using the next 10 days to thin out his squad. Of course, the arrival of Rennes goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, signed on Thursday as Chelsea’s sixth arrival during the transfer window, could see error-prone Spaniard Arrizabalaga leave, most likely on a loan, as he looks to rebuild his confidence.
Arrizabalaga will not be the only one considered surplus to requirements.
Antonio Rudiger is not likely to feature under Lampard any time soon as he is now considered the fifth choice centre-back.
He may be on his way out, as could Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who could also be moved on.
Chelsea come into this match against league newcomers West Brom on the back of a confidence-boosting win over Barnsley in the midweek League Cup tie.
Kai Havertz, the young German who became the club’s record signing recently, may have stolen the headlines after scoring a hat-trick in the 6-0 win.
However, it was the performance of the Thiago Silva, the 36-year-old former Paris Saint Germain defender, who so impressed Lampard.
On the basis of that performance, and given his past reputation as one of European football’s most reliable defenders, the Brazilian could be the key to a defensive unit that was found so lacking last season.
Bilic’s West Brom have won neither of their matches, losing at home to Leicester City before last week’s 5-2 defeat at Everton, as they struggle to adapt to life back in the top flight.
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