Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has included Antonio Rudiger in the Blues squad for the Champions League clash with Lille tomorrow.
The London club need a win to ensure a place in the knockout stages of the competition, although a draw may be good enough for them to progress, depending on other results.
And the Chelsea head coach has confirmed that the Blues have been boosted by the return from injury of Rudiger, who has not featured since the 5-2 win against Wolves at Molineux back in September.
Football.london report the Germany international was out training with the team today (Monday) ahead of tomorrow’s game in west London, and Lampard confirmed he was in contention to feature, although he said Fikayo Tomori and Olivier Giroud will not be involved against Lille.
“He [Rudiger] is in the squad, so he has a chance. It is good to have him back,” Lampard said at his pre-match press conference . “He is training really well and got his fitness work done. His injury is healed.
“[Fikayo] Tomori is out, he has a small, tiny strain around his hip area. It has bothered him for a little bit so we have taken him out for a couple of days. Olivier [Giroud] is still out as well.”
Lampard added that it was a big boost to have Rudiger available again, although he was wary of putting too much pressure on the German, after a long injury lay-off.
“[It is] Potentially difficult,” he said. “Our guard against that was to give him a lot of work. Created things behind the scenes in training that seem like matches and pure runniing.
“He has come through that and he looks fit and ready to go, I know he is hungry. In terms of people building him up, maybe rightly so.
“He is a good defender, you overlook the fact that people talk about youth, transfer bans but we had five big players injured for a period of time.
“Carrying that on, Rudi is just back and Ruben is still out, you miss those individuals. And then see what he can add to us now.”
Frank Lampard has revealed he did not consider bringing John Terry with him to Chelsea when he was appointed manager at Stamford Bridge last summer.
Terry is assistant manager at Aston Villa and returns to Chelsea on Wednesday night looking to defeat his boyhood club.
The Blues boss said Terry was already going down his own route at Aston Villa when he was forming his coaching team at Derby but wouldn’t rule out joining forces in the future, report Sportsmail.
“I can’t guess the future,” Lampard was quoted as saying by Goal.
“It was never an option that was spoken about. I think John was very settled at Aston Villa.
“When I took the Derby job, he was already on his own path then and they obviously got promoted in the summer. John was very comfortable there and working away. I had my team that I worked with here.
“I think everyone has their own route. It’s not that I’m surprised, it’s just a path he’s chosen. It’s working well alongside Dean at a very good club that he already had a link with from his final year playing there.
“I think it was a very normal thing for him to choose to do and I’m sure he’ll have a very long and successful career in coaching, management, in whatever way he wants to take it.
“We all have to start in our different ways and he’s starting well.”
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has explained why left Ross Barkley out of the travelling party for Champions League clash against Valencia, criticizing the midfielder for “a lack of professionalism” after he was pictured shirtless in a nightclub.
The 25-year-old has been struggling with an ankle injury.
And, Lampard says he must “show his reactions on the pitch” amid the controversy surrounding his Chelsea career.
“I certainly don’t hold anything against my players,” Lampard said.
“There are two separate issues, one is the headlines this week, Ross knows how I felt about the first headline.
“I backed him then and I still back him now but he showed a moment of a lack of professionalism as far as I’m concerned.
“It’s not something that I want to be a pure dictator about and come down hard on, because I also understand all my players are humans and have lives and I don’t think it’s a terrible thing that he’s done.
“I like Ross, he’s certainly one of my players. He has had an injury, he’s still kind of carrying an injury, there’s a bit of pain on shooting so he just has to work his way back in, in terms of the fitness thing, and train well.”
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard assuaged the bitter feelings of his players after losing to Manchester City at the Etihad despite taking the lead in the first half of the encounter.
City came from behind to win 2-1 at the Etihad, with goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez following N’Golo Kante’s opener.
The Blues had never lost any of their away matches in this season’s Premier League.
Asked by Sky Sports what message he had for his players in the dressing room at full-time, Lampard said: “The fact that it hurts to lose any match, but even more when you’re not used to it. In the league, and with our away form, we’ve been winning for a long time.
“We’ve got to take the positives, and learn from the negatives. We need to look at that – but let’s go again.”
Lampard said it was a game of narrow margins, with City’s quality in attack the reason they emerged from the game as narrow victors.
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has disclosed that club’s starlet Callum Hudson-Odoi is yet to sign a new deal with Chelsea, but admits talks have moved on “very well”.
There were reports last week that the youngster had agreed a new contract with the Stamford Bridge club throwing their supporters into frenzy.
Lampard has downplayed such contract agreements, but assured there is hope at the end of the tunnel.
His words: “I think agreed would mean signed so we’re not quite there but what’s very clear is the club are working towards that,” Lampard said. “Talks moved on very well in the last week or two but it’s not done yet.
“The one thing that’s clear to me is I want to keep him here. He’s a player we cherish.
“Players who come through the academy are the present and the future of the club so we’re doing everything we can to get there. I hope it’s news to be confirmed soon.”
During the talks, Hudson-Odoi’s representatives are said to have requested for the club’s No.10, as part of their prayers, for the player.
His is expected to sign five-year deal, which will be worth £180,000 a week.
And on the ruptured Achilles’ tendon injury, Lampard stated that Hudson-Odoi’s progress is encouraging, assuring Blues faithful that he might even be back with the first team soon.
“He’s not training with us yet but the injury is coming on well,” Lampard added.
“Ahead of schedule I get scared of saying but from the first diagnosis he’s ahead of schedule.”
Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma has revealed his desire for a future at Stamford Bridge but stressed his need to play regularly to preserve his ambitions to play for France at Euro 2020.
Everton are reportedly desperate to sign the Frenchman permanently after impressing on loan at Goodson Park last season.
But Chelsea boss Frank Lampard is equally determined to keep Zouma at Stamford Bridge.
‘I’m happy with what the manager said about me,’ said Zouma.
‘That means he is seeing the work I’m doing and I’m very pleased with that.
‘We had a chat at the beginning of pre-season and he was very good with me. We talk a lot.
‘It is true that I enjoyed my time at Everton but I am a Chelsea player and we’ll see what will happen in the end.
‘I think it will be here at Chelsea but the most important thing is to work and to prepare for the season.
‘I want to do really well in pre-season to get my chance and be here.’
On Everton loan stint. ‘It was a very good season for me. I made some good friends and I enjoyed my time there with the manager as well.
‘It was very good for my development. After my injury I was ready to play week-in, week-out and get used to playing regularly. By going there, that is what I did.
‘I feel I am a better player. Everything has improved in my game – tactically and technically as a defender with my positioning.
‘I still have a lot to learn and to work on but I feel I have done a lot since my injury and I’m very happy with it.’
His progress at Everton was rewarded with an international recall and Zouma’s desire to stay in the France team ahead of Euro 2020 and add to his four caps provides the backdrop to this big decision over his club future.
Under Silva at Goodison he can be confident he will be a first-choice starter.
At Chelsea there is the allure of Champions League football but also fierce competition, especially when Antonio Rudiger, the regular defensive partner for David Luiz last season, returns from a knee injury, report the Daily Mail.
Rudiger will miss the start of the new campaign after surgery but is ahead of schedule with his recovery and is aiming to be back by October.
‘It was one of my targets to get into the France team,’ said Zouma. ‘It is very important to me. I had been there before and wanted to come back. I managed to do that which made me very happy.
‘Now the target is to play at the Euros next year but to be there you have to be playing at your club. That is why I’m working very hard in pre-season. We will see what’s going to happen.
‘There are a lot of players here and a lot of quality at the club but he can only play with two central defenders.
‘The manager has to make the choice but he is lucky because he only has good players. It will be hard for him to make that choice but that is what we’re here for and why we are working hard.’