The Chelsea squad remain in lockdown as the coronavirus pandemic shows no sign of slowing down.
All Premier League games have been suspended until the end of April, as the game’s authorities ponder how to fulfil the remainder of the season’s fixtures.
The European Championships have already been moved to next summer to provide space for domestic leagues to complete their matches, but if the COVID-19 situation does not improve, games may not restart on time.
Back in west London, Frank Lampard’s side were just regaining some momentum before the season was interrupted, with an impressive win over Liverpool in the FA Cup and league victories over Tottenham and Everton.
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The Blues had hit a patchy run of form prior to that, with a heavy defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.
But when the season finally does resume, Lampard will be confident that his players can continue where they left off against Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton, and seal a place in the top four to qualify for the Champions League.
The Chelsea head coach will have some tricky decisions to make in terms of his strongest line-up, with several players excelling before the season was halted.
In goal, Kepa Arrizabalaga regained the number one spot with a series of impressive performances and appears to have put his woes behind him.
The back four appears to be more settled, with Kurt Zouma’s partnership with Antonio Rudiger looking a solid one. Marcos Alonso’s return at left-back is a slightly more surprising development, but the Spaniard has been excellent since his recall, and has chipped in with crucial goals.
Reece James is perhaps unlucky to miss out, but Cesar Azpilicueta’s experience gives him the edge.
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