With just four points from the first three Premier League matches, Chelsea are in need of a win this weekend. But it won't be easy in a London derby against Crystal Palace, who have had a good start to their league campaign (two wins from three).
We do have some good news however from Lampard in today’s press conference: Christian Pulisic is fit to return to bench duty! The news is less good on Hakim Ziyech, who had looked to be ahead of the missing duo in terms of recovery, and even got called up for national duty by Morocco.
"Pulisic is in the squad for tomorrow. He won’t start the match because of the injury he’s had and it’s been a difficult injury but I am very keen to get him back in there. It’s great to have him back for himself and for the boost he gives the team because he’s an important player for us.
"Hakim Ziyech is getting closer but he’s not quite fit enough to be on the bench. It’s been a huge miss for us not to have them fit at this stage of the season. Christian has been here for a year so he doesn’t have that bedding-in process that was part of his early time last year.
"Hakim is going to bring something completely different for us and I think they will help complement the attacking players we have because we’ll need to be able to use different players throughout the course of the season. I’m very excited to have them fit."
The absence of these two wingers has been keenly felt, but hopefully they will both be fully fit after the upcoming international break.
Lampard also provided an encouraging update on Billy Gilmour's recovery. The youngster is entering the final month of the four-month prognosis of his meniscus surgery, and has been seen in various social media posts around Cobham as of late. For him, the international break come at a good time, and he could be back in contention fairly soon after (ed.note: though Lampard tends to provide overly optimistic timelines for injuries).
"He’s progressing well. It was forecast as a four-month injury when he went into surgery and we’re three months on from that so it will be four weeks from now that he’ll be hopefully fit barring any hiccups.
"His attitude and how he approaches everything in his professional life is spot-on so he’ll give himself the best chance to be back and as fresh as he can in four weeks and he’ll be an important member of the squad at that point."
-Frank Lampard; source: Chelsea FC
Pulisic and Ziyech will certainly lift the squad, and hopefully Gilmour will pick up right where he left off as well. We are without a doubt a stronger team with those three fit.