Frank Lampard has faced a number of obstacles since taking over at Chelsea – their transfer ban chief among them – but there was a new one to overcome against Crystal Palace on Saturday. For the first time, he had to start a Premier League game without Jorginho manning his midfield.
The Italian has put a difficult debut campaign firmly behind him this season, becoming a key figure under the new head coach – who has described him as a “leader” within the dressing room – and playing 954 minutes of a possible 990 before his suspension for the meeting with Palace.
Fortunately for Lampard, his absence coincided with N’Golo Kante’s return from a groin injury. Kante replaced Jorginho alongside Mateo Kovacic on Saturday and duly helped Chelsea keep their first clean sheet in four games as they claimed a sixth consecutive Premier League win.
Lampard continued with the 4-2-3-1 formation that has served him so well in recent weeks, with Mason Mount continuing to impress at No 10 and Kante and Kovacic working in tandem behind him. How, though, will the midfield shape up when Jorginho is available too?