Chelsea team vs Leeds confirmed: Olivier Giroud starts as Frank Lampard makes eight changes

Olivier Giroud leads the line for Chelsea against Leeds United this evening with Frank Lampard making eight changes to the team that won 4-0 away to Sevilla in midweek.

The back four is entirely changed, while N’Golo Kante and Mason Mount return to midfield alongside Kai Havertz. Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech return on the wings.

Goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, Havertz and Giroud are the only ones to retain their place.

Having scored four goals away to Sevilla on Wednesday night, Giroud was always likely to retain his place for a first league start of the campaign and was the nominated player for pre-match media duties – always a firm indicator of a starting role.

Still, Lampard refused to say that it was impossible to drop the France striker when asked yesterday.

“I don’t think it’s a case of giving any player assurances of game time,” the head coach said. “I think with the competitive squad we have that’s very difficult to do.

“All you want is the players when they are out of the team to train well, get themselves in the team and perform like Oli did the other day.

“And of course that gives me nice problems as such. Oli’s always done that for me here, I think particularly in the back-end of last season he played as regularly as he’s played at Chelsea in my time at the club, particularly in restart.

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“He was fundamental in us managing to get to the Champions League spots. So I’m happy with him, he gives me a really nice problem. His form’s good, he’s training well.”

Chelsea: Edouard Mendy; Reece James, Thiago Silva, Kurt Zouma, Ben Chilwell; Kai Havertz, N’Golo Kante, Mason Mount; Hakim Ziyech, Olivier Giroud, Timo Werner.

You can follow all the action in our live blog with Alan Smith and Oliver Harbord right here. Kick-off is at 8pm.


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