Lampard identifies reason for Antonio Rudiger’s exclusion from Watford clash

Frank Lampard has ruled Antonio Rudiger out of this weekend’s clash against Watford despite reports that the defender declared himself fit for Chelsea return.

It was thought that the German may be back in contention as the Blues face Watford tomorrow.

But Lampard said: “He’s not fit.

“I saw the quotes but there’s a miscommunication somewhere and he’s going to see a consultant on Monday because he has an ongoing issue in his pelvic area which is bothering him.

“We’ll have to wait for the consultant appointment to see how long he’ll be out. Himself and N’Golo carried over injuries from last season and it’s been a domino effect.

“The players will be frustrated. Disappointing for me because I want to select them but it brings opportunities for other players.”

Two former Chelsea managers take swipe at VAR

Antonio Conte and Maurizio Sarri have taken a swipe at VAR, with Juventus manager saying he is not a big fan of VAR and is still struggling to grasp all the “absurd rules”.

Referees have been in the spotlight again this week as they preferred to go with their own controversial decisions rather than get a second opinion from the VAR.

However, Sarri believes the officials were right to stand by their original judgments.

“I prefer when the officials control the game on the pitch,” he said at a Press conference.

“Not all situations need to be communicated. When there is a handball, I still haven’t been able to grasp the rules.

“Also, in everyday life there are absurd rules and we need to adapt to them. I say I don’t like it, it was born to identify macroscopic errors, now it is used three or four-times a game. They have a more limited use of it abroad.”

In his own assessment, Conte admits he has lost “confidence” in VAR this season but insists the technology is still ‘important” for football.

Football Italia report VAR was completely ignored for flash points in Napoli-Atalanta and Roma-Napoli midweek, while some felt it could have been used before Juventus’ match-winning penalty against Genoa on Wednesday.

“It is not being used in the same way by everyone,” Conte said at a Press conference.

“It is important for the big calls. Last year I was more confident with it, but today we don’t understand how it should be used because there’s so much insecurity and instability.

“If I was a referee and had the technology, I would make my decision and then put it in the hands of the VAR. I would officiate with more serenity.”

Frank Lampard explains why Watford trip is “more dangerous”, reveals why Chelsea lost to Manchester United

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard says the Blues’ trip to Watford is “more dangerous” because the Hornets have not won a Premier League game this season.

Watford are rock bottom after five defeats and five draws from their opening 10 top-flight fixtures, while fourth-placed Chelsea have won their last four Premier League games and have only lost twice so far this term in the league.

Both sides crashed out of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday and Lampard is looking for a response from his team, but admits he is “even more focused” than usual because he knows that Watford will be “hurting” on Saturday.

“I’m very much of the mindset that games become more dangerous with overconfidence,” Lampard said. “We must understand Watford and their quality.

“Last season their personnel was similar and they were getting big results, they made the FA Cup final.

“We cannot underestimate a team that will be hurting because they have not won for a while. They will have every ambition to win this game, so I’m even more focused on what we need to do.”

SkySports report Chelsea will be without Antonio Rudiger, N’Golo Kante and Ross Barkley for the trip to Vicarage Road – live on Sky Sports Premier League – as the Blues attempt to bounce back from Wednesday’s defeat to Manchester United.

“We made six changes, came up against a strong United team and I think in the first half it was pretty dour,” Lampard added.

“In the second half we were the better team and without Rashford’s wonder strike… the biggest thing I took from the game was that if you’re not clinical enough – you need to take your chances.”