Frank Lampard made several significant changes to his team to take on Crystal Palace today, largely enforced.
Jorginho was suspended, but N’Golo Kante was available after injury to slot in for him.
At the back, Emerson was fit to keep his place from last week’s league fixture, with Marcos Alonso not even on the bench.
One man who is sitting with the subs is Cesar Azpilicueta, and we’re not used to seeing that. As OptaJoe pointed out on Twitter, this ends his run of 73 top flight games in a row, the leader in the division ahead of former Blue Nathan Ake.
73 – Prior to this match, César Azpilicueta had started each of Chelsea's last 73 Premier League games, dating back to December 2nd 2017 vs Newcastle; this was the longest current run of any outfield player, which is now held by Nathan Aké (65). Hangover. pic.twitter.com/LJCHcFrUXN
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 9, 2019
Reece James plays, and this is surely a sign of things to come as Lampard continues to move this team towards the future.
But if you think this is the end of Azpi… you don’t know Azpi. He’s not going to go quietly into the sweet night, and if James thinks he’s in for an easy ride, he’s about to find out how wrong he is.