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Chelsea boss Frank Lampard dropped Emerson Palmieri and Fikayo Tomori for the game against Valencia, with Reece James and Andreas Christensen both given starting roles in the back four for Chelsea.
It was a surprise decision to play Christensen ahead of Tomori, and former Chelsea star Joe Cole believes that it was a tactical switch by the Chelsea manager, explaining that Lampard must be thinking that Valencia didn’t have speedy attackers and “doubted whether they had the power in their legs” to attack Chelsea with pace.
“They’ve got threats but it’s not like you’re playing against, [like] at the weekend, a Raheem Sterling,” Joe Cole said as reported by the Daily Express.
“I don’t see anyone with that explosive pace to run away. Maybe that’s why Frank’s gone with Christensen instead of Tomori, maybe he can just sure it up.”
Explaining his team selection, Lampard told BT Sport: “It’s more that I’ve got a competitive squad and I’ve got good players who are knocking on the door.
“You look at the game and I’ve played a very similar sort of team for a while, what are the attributes of the players.
“It’s no slight on the players that have come out, it needs to be competitive and driven throughout.
“I’m trusting the players that are coming in and maybe they can give us something slightly different, particularly Reece maybe in an attacking sense.”