Reece James also in line to return from sidelines to make first-team debut
It has been confirmed by Chelsea Head Coach Frank Lampard that Callum Hudson-Odoi will make his eagerly anticipated return from injury in Wednesday’s Carabao Cup Third-round match against Grimsby Town.
Along with Callum, fellow highly-rated youngster Reece James is also expected to make his first-team debut against the League Two side at Stamford Bridge.
Hudson-Odoi has been missing from the first-team fold since rupturing his achilles tendon in the Blues’ 2-2 draw against Burnley back in April, but the winger’s recovery has been quicker than expected, with being back in training with the rest of the squad for the past month or so.
As for James, the right-back suffered ankle ligament damage whilst on international duty for the England U20 side at the Toulon Tournament. He was expected back sooner but had a minor setback – but after minor surgery, he’s also on the road to full recovery and has returned to training in the past couple of weeks.
With the pair having missed all of the pre-season campaign, Lampard has been forced to be patient and to an extent cautious in not rushing the young duo back. But after a couple of appearances each under their belts for Chelsea’s development squad in Premier League 2, the Blues legend is very much keen for them to be involved this week.
“They will be involved on Wednesday night. We certainly need to look at players that haven’t been playing as much against Grimsby. We’ll pay them due respect, but it’s certainly a case of getting minutes for players who haven’t been playing.”Frank Lampard on Callum Hudson-Odoi & Reece James
Wednesday’s game against the Mariners is the perfect game for Callum and Reece to return to first-team action.
After a couple of games each, the rustiness for both will be on the decline and the match fitness will do them the world of good. Plus, the return (already seen by both Lampard and fans alike) of two important players will provide a valuable boost to the squad in terms of numbers and morale after back-to-back defeats against Valencia and Liverpool.
In terms of what side we could possibly see, this is what I would like to see tomorrow…
The match itself is a great chance to rest, rotate and give chances to a few academy prospects who are highly-rated, particularly Marc Guehi, Ian Maatsen, Billy Gilmour and Faustino Anjorin.
Amongst Hudson-Odoi and James making their return to action, another player that has to be starting in my opinion is Christian Pulisic, with the American being inexplicably dropped, (my opinions on this will be covered in an article on the’s Echo website & official Twitter tomorrow) despite the lack of form and contribution from the veteran duo of Pedro and Willian.
Whilst Chelsea still has to show respect to Grimsby, the squad that I personally would like to see for the game should still have more than enough quality to get the job done and put the Blues through to the Fourth round.
Just as importantly… also ensuring that Lampard gets his long-awaited first win at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea manager.