Frank Lampard may have found the perfect centre-back partner for Antonio Rudiger

capitane

Most football lovers are primarily focused on how Frank Lampard will set up his new-look attack line when Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner joins in the summer but there are question marks over his most dependable backline, with Frank Lampard opting for various personnels at the back in different formations during the course of the season.

Chelsea football club are well on course to qualify for the Champions League next season as they defeated Manchester City to maintain a 5-point lead ahead of the team in fifth.

Truly, there are plenty of positives to take from their 2019/2020 campaign, but the defence has often been a major problem for the coach, Frank Lampard.

Chelsea have only managed to keep just six clean sheets from 31 matches played to date - only the bottom three and Tottenham have managed fewer.

Fikayo Tomori has shown some promising signs in his breakthrough season, having worked under Lampard on loan at Derby last season, but injuries have kept him out of the side for a while now.

Meanwhile, Kurt Zouma has emerged as Lampard’s most trusted centre-half in their Premier League campaign. The Frenchman has totalled the most minutes (1804) and been given the most starts, 19 of 31 but he is also error-prone.

Due to that, Frank Lampard has kept the faith in Antonio Rudiger and Christensen n central defence, and his approach - and their performances - since the restart suggest that he’s settling on a favoured partnership.

Both defenders have started alongside one another in back-to-back games. They weren’t so perfect against Aston Villa on Sunday, who rained four shots at Kepa Arrizabalaga’s goal but the coach kept the faith in the two defenders for the challenge of facing Manchester City on Thursday night and it somehow paid dividends.

There was no clean sheet to celebrate though, but they didn't concede from open play as Kevin de Bruyne equalised for City with a sensational long-ranke free-kick.

Antonio Rudiger didn’t quite have the same influence as the game against Villa but he was switched on throughout and showed good positional awareness to snuff out danger as Manchester City put them under real pressure in the second half before Fernandinho’s dismissal for handball.

If both players can avoid injuries, Frank Lampard has an opportunity to put his trust in a settled back four for the remainder of the Premier League season as they aim to remain in the top four.

capitane operanews-external@opera.com