Predicted Chelsea starting XI vs Real Madrid as Thiago Silva and Mason Mount enter contention

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Predicted Chelsea starting XI vs Real Madrid as Thiago Silva and Mason Mount enter contention

Frank Lampard has a lot to consider ahead of taking on Real Madrid and selecting a team to take to the field at the Bernabeu will be no simple task.

The Blues caretaker boss saw his first match in charge ended in defeat against Wolves with a change to a back four seeming to slow any progress made in the attacking sense over the course of 2023. Chelsea head into the Champions League clash having not scored since before the international break, leaving Lampard with a problem that has persisted throughout the season to fix.

The 44-year-old manager will be able to call upon Thiago Silva, Mason Mount and N’Golo Kante for the first time since returning to the club as the trio trained before making the flight to Madrid. Kante was rested against Wolves to manage his minutes having spent most of the season out with injury, while Silva has not played since he was forced against Tottenham in February and Mount has also not featured since the same match.

READ MORE: Every word Frank Lampard said on Real Madrid v Chelsea, injury news and Champions League message

Kante seems primed to start the game against Los Blancos, but given how Chelsea have managed the return of injured stars over the course of the season the places of Silva and Mount are less certain. Though, there are few games that have the importance of this one with Chelsea having little else to play for.

Kepa Arrizabalaga remains the most likely to start in goal and it appears all but guaranteed that Reece James and Ben Chilwell, fresh from signing a new deal to keep him at the club until 2027, will flank the central defenders. Wesley Fofana is likely to partner Kalidou Koulibaly, while Kante will join Enzo Fernandez in midfield, alongside Mateo Kovacic, who returns to his former home for the third time in as many seasons.

Kai Havertz has led the Blues line for much of this season but endured a torrid time against Wolves and could see his place come under threat but neither Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or David Datro Fofana are eligible to challenge him in the Champions League. Lampard spoke highly of Raheem Sterling’s ability to impact the game, leaving him in contention to start, while Mykhailo Mudryko may have confidence having received a standing ovation for his performance at the Bernabeu earlier in the season.

Predicted XI: Kepa; James, Flying, Chilwell; Kante, Fernandez, Kovacic; Sterling, Havertz, Felix.

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