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Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva available as Lampard looks to increase Chelsea squad fitness

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In-season pre-season

Chelsea Training Session Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Chelsea’s match tomorrow against Barnsley in the League Cup third round is being viewed as a perfect chance to increase the levels of fitness in the squad, which Frank Lampard pinpointed as one of the reasons behind our stuttering start — one win, one defeat, very little champagne football.

“We’re in the position that this game for me is of course about getting through to the next round, it always would be, but I have huge eyes on the fitness of the team because we’re not fit now, which means our pressing game and the speed of our game, it will be very difficult to attain the levels that we want.

“So I’ll use this game primarily for the first-team squad to get there. With respect to Barnsley and respect for the competition, it’s a huge night for us for the fitness of our team.”

-Frank Lampard; source: Chelsea FC

It should also be a good chance to keep growing the understanding between the all the players, after the influx of new faces this summer, two more of whom should be available for the first time in their Chelsea careers. It’s unclear if either Thiago Silva or Ben Chilwell are available to start — the former probably, the latter probably not — but it sounds like they will both be involved on some level.

“Thiago Silva is in the squad for tomorrow. He’s getting fit so I’ll make a decision on how many minutes he may get during the game depending on what’s best for him. Ben Chilwell is also in the squad, while Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech are getting closer as well.”

-Frank Lampard; source: Chelsea FC

The third round of the League Cup is often a chance for younger players or backups to get some game time, but it sounds like that won’t be the case as much this time around. Let’s hope this doesn’t come at the cost of overloading the players so early in the season already!

“I’m not being too judgmental of the squad at this point because we are short on fitness for individuals in the team. On top of that I want to work on how we play, what we do, what we’re about. We showed fantastic stuff for big periods last year and we want to move that step further.

“So every moment to work now is a moment to improve, that means on the training pitch and that means against Barnsley tomorrow night.”

-Frank Lampard; source: Chelsea FC

Well, okay then.