Chelsea Team News: Zola Confirms Triple Injury Concern Ahead Of Derby County Clash
Chelsea assistant Gianfranco Zola has confirmed two players face tests ahead of their clash with Derby while he also provided an update on Hazard.
Chelsea will be looking to book their place in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup when they welcome Frank Lampard’s Derby County to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.
Assistant first team coach Gianfranco Zola has been speaking to the media at the pre-match press conference this afternoon and he’s provided a full team news and injury update including the latest on Eden Hazard, Pedro, Olivier Giroud and Ethan Ampadu.
Hazard missed Chelsea 4-0 win over Burnley at the weekend and last week’s Europa League victory over BATE Borisov due to a back injury that he sustained during the 2-2 draw with Manchester United.
Zola says the 27-year-old is ‘much better’ and could return to training tomorrow but while Hazard isn’t expected to be risked against Derby in the League Cup tomorrow night, he could make his return to action against Crystal Palace at the weekend.
Chelsea’s option in attack could be further limited as Zola revealed that Pedro is facing a late fitness test on a stomach issue that forced the Spaniard off against Burnley on Sunday afternoon.
In a triple blow, striker Olivier Giroud is also struggling with fatigue and the French international will need to be assessed by the medical staff before his availability for the Derby game is determined.
However, there was some positive news for Chelsea as Zola confirmed Ampadu has returned to training following a knee injury and a late decision will be made over his involvement in the Carabao Cup game.
Zola told Chelseafc.com:
On Hazard, who missed the weekend win at Burnley, Zola said:
‘He is certainly much better. I’m not sure today, maybe tomorrow he is going to join us in training. I don’t think he is going to be involved in the game tomorrow, but he is looking quite good for the weekend. We are pleased because he is such an important player for us.’
On other injury problems, Zola said:
‘There is Pedro, who has had a stomach ache. He came off Sunday. He was getting better but there is still a little problem so we don’t know. We are going to assess him tomorrow.
‘Also Olivier Giroud has a little fatigue problem with one of his legs. We are going to assess him tomorrow as well. Ampadu was back in training yesterday. Tomorrow we are going to decide whether he is going to be part of the team.’
Blues boss Maurizio Sarri is expected to make plenty of changes to his starting eleven tomorrow night with the likes of Gary Cahill, Andreas Christensen, Emerson, Davide Zappacosta, Cesc Fabregas, Mateo Kovacic and Ruben Loftus-Cheek all pushing for recalls.
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