There were few things to complain about in Chelsea’s 3-0 win over Watford on Saturday, for a change, but we did get some bad news afterwards with Frank Lampard confirming that N’Golo Kanté has picked up yet another (small) injury.
The all-important midfielder has been slowed by a series of minor injuries for most of the past 12-13 months, and we had been hoping he had put all those behind him during the three-month enforced coronavirus break. Then again, having played every single minute of every single game during Project Restart prior to tonight, it’s perhaps not at all surprising that N’Golo has strained something once again. When you tempt the hamstring gods with 360 minutes of competitive football in ten days after just a few weeks of a pseudo-preseason (and Kanté had less than the others due to COVID-19 fears), you’re bound to get struck down.
“[Kanté] got a small hamstring [injury] that we’ll scan tomorrow to see how bad it is. We hope it’s small, that’s what I’ve been told so far but after the scan tomorrow we’ll know. I’m guessing it will be a problem for Palace on Tuesday.”
With Mateo Kovačić already sidelined with a minor Achilles tweak and Kanté set to miss out as well, once-indispensable midfielder Jorginho might be brought back in from the cold.
The Chelsea Vice-captain hasn’t featured at all since the restart and had been suspended due to yellow card accumulation prior to it, so the last time he had featured for Chelsea was four months ago, at the start of March. It’s unclear why he has fallen so out of favor with Lampard, but the head coach insists that the 28-year-old remains in his plans.
“Jorginho is in my plans.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Football.London
That said, it was Billy Gilmour who replaced Kanté late on against Watford, and it would not be at all surprising to see the 19-year-old get the nod against Crystal Palace on Tuesday as well (despite his poor showing in the FA Cup start against Leicester City). Whether that’s next to Jorginho or instead of remains to be seen, especially with Ross Barkley in (relatively) great form and Ruben Loftus-Cheek coming back up to speed as well.