On Saturday afternoon, Chelsea face off against League of Ireland side St Patrick in their second pre-season friendly game. New boss Frank Lampard will want to see a marked improvement in the performance of the team from their 1-1 draw against Bohemians on Wednesday evening.
There are two things that Lampard can do to ensure a good result and good progress from his Chelsea team in this game.
The first of the two things is to start his strongest possible XI to ensure the Blues get off to the best possible start in the game. Starting games well is key, and if Chelsea can get into the habit of doing that in pre-season games then it will help the club a lot when Chelsea travel up to Manchester to face Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side in the opening Premier League fixture on August 11th.
If Lampard wants to see how bad starts to Premier League games can affect a team, then he needs to look no further than Unai Emery and his Arsenal side from last season. Arsenal regularly went through games without leading at half-time last season, and it saw them drop vital points like away to Crystal Palace and at home to Wolves.
The second thing Lampard can do ensure good progress of his Chelsea team is an early implementation of his primary tactics he will be using next season.
With St Patrick’s concentration firmly on their Europa League campaign, they are more than likely to field a weakened team. This will provide Lampard with the perfect opportunity to implement the ‘good football’ style of play he alluded to in his interview with Goal back in March. With Chelsea going on to face stronger teams later on in pre-season, the ability to implement his style of play will be harder.
Chelsea have a good fixture on Saturday, and Lampard needs to take advantage of the opportunity to start a strong team and implement his style. This will help Chelsea moving forward and could ensure a better start to the season for the club.