Was it mind games from Frank Lampard or has Reece James just recovered really, really quickly?
The young defender has been out with an ankle injury and was ruled out of the game against Brighton at the Amex on New Year’s Day.
However, New Year’s Day has arrived and guess what? Reece James is in the starting lineup.
When asked about James’ return from injury following the win over Arsenal, head coach Frank Lampard said: “Hopefully a week or ten days. He’s had a bit of a niggle around his ankle injury which he had surgery on in pre-season so that was a bit of a worry. The doctors are saying it will be a week or so.”
It sounded like Lampard was being truthful and it would appear James has been given the all-clear well ahead of schedule.
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And the Chelsea fans are delighted to see the 20-year-old in the starting lineup, although some were hoping to see Tariq Lamptey given an opportunity.
Lamptey is named on the bench.
And James was not the only player the Blues supporters were pleased to see return to the starting lineup.
Christian Pulisic was also named in the front three – although his appearance on the teamsheet was expected.
Chelsea supporters are now hoping to kick 2020 off in style with three points as they look to put daylight between themselves and Manchester United and Tottenham in the race for Champions League qualification.
The Blues’ early kick-off means they can open up a healthy gap to the other teams before they play later in the day.
The match kicks off at 12.30pm and you can follow it all here .