Chelsea team news: Blues could be without 5 first team players for Man Utd trip
Chelsea could be without as many as five first team players for their Premier League opener against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Chelsea could be without as many as five first team players for their Premier League opener against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon.
New boss Frank Lampard has been speaking to the media at his first pre-match press conference this afternoon and he’s provided a team news and injury update ahead of the game this weekend.
The Blues coach has confirmed that N’Golo Kante is fit again after recovering from an injury that he sustained ahead of the Europa League final against Arsenal at the end of last season.
The French international got his first minutes of pre-season against Borussia Monchengladbach last weekend but Kante is still short of full match fitness so Lampard has confirmed he’ll have to make a last minute call on whether to start him at United.
Willian is expected to miss the trip to Old Trafford as he’s still working his way back to full fitness having suffered a hamstring injury while representing Brazil at the Copa America last month.
Another player who’s a doubt this weekend is Antonio Rudiger as the centre-back failed to feature during pre-season and hasn’t played since limping off against Man Utd in April of last season with a knee injury.
The German international has returned to full training this week but Lampard says he’ll have to assess the defender to see whether he’ll be able to take his place in the squad this weekend.
Lampard told Chelseafc.com:
‘We have Kante fit, but if he’s match fit is a question I will have to decide right up until the end,’
‘Everyone else is pretty much fit. We have the ones we know are outstanding. Willian is working to be fit and it’s probably come slightly too soon for him. Possibly Rudiger the same, but he has been training with us for a few days now. That’s for me to gauge over the next 24, 48 hours until Sunday.
Elsewhere, Callum Hudson-Odoi is obviously unavailable as he’s still recovering from an Achilles injury while Ruben Loftus-Cheek is also facing a spell on the sidelines with his own Achilles injury that he suffered back in late May.
It means Lampard could be without five first team players against United if Kante, Rudiger and Willian are all deemed unfit to start while squad players Marco van Ginkel and Reece James are also on the sidelines.
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