Chelsea’s youth revolution is up and running, but Lampard is still missing a couple key components, as Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi are not quite match fit after multi-month injury layoffs. As tempting as it may be to play them, Lampard is taking it slow and easy, and rightly so, with at least one more recovery start in the reserves scheduled for both of them.
“They are fit but not match fit. Callum is getting extra work in and with Reece, he played in the Under-23s and they may need another game in the Under-23s in them before they are ready for action.”
It’s a similar situation with N’Golo Kante, who needs more time to recover from his ankle injury.
“N’Golo similarly. Although not to play in Under-23s, he will have more training to do just because the injury has been bothering him.”
Chelsea’s defence got a big boost against Wolves with Rudiger starting his first game of the season after recovering from his knee surgery, but the joy was short-lived as he limped off at half-time with a groin problem. It may not be anything too serious, but Chelsea have yet to even assess the injury.
“Toni is injured. At the weekend he bothered a small groin problem that he has been carrying the last couple of weeks so he is out. He will have a scan later today to see where he is at. Hopefully it is not long-term.”
- Frank Lampard; source: Chelsea FC
Meanwhile, Emerson’s thigh injury, which he picked up with playing for Italy in the Euro 2020 qualifiers, continues to keep him out as well.
Though several key players are out injured, the 3-4-3 formation tweak against Wolves allowed the likes of Christian Pulisic, Pedro, and Ross Barkley to be well rested, while good showings from the likes of Willian and Marcos Alonso are also good signs that Lampard will be able to count on his whole squad as the fixtures pile up.