Chelsea: What's going wrong for Lampard and the Blues?
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has given an injury update on Hakim Ziyech and Reece James ahead of Sunday’s showdown against Manchester City. Pep Guardiola’s side visit Stamford Bridge as Chelsea kick off 2021 looking to break back into the Premier League’s top four.
After a promising start to the season, Lampard’s men have dropped down the table the table in recent weeks having lost three of their last five games, and won just one.
Ziyech has missed all five of those games with a hamstring injury, and Lampard could do with the winger’s attacking prowess and creativity as he looks to reignite Chelsea’s challenge.
Right-back James also has a hamstring injury and missed Monday’s 1-1 draw against Aston Villa, again depleting Lampard’s options out wide.
The Chelsea boss gave an update on both players as he faced the media in his pre-match press conference on New Year’s Day.
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Lampard said Ziyech had “trained the last two or three days”, adding that James was “out with a small hamstring problem”.
Whether Ziyech will be deemed fit enough to face City remains to be seen, but it may be that he is included on the pitch.
And club captain Cesar Azpilicueta looks set to continue at right-back in the absence of James.
Chelsea go into Sunday’s clash ahead of City on goal difference, although the teams are level on points.
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City are unbeaten in their last 10 games in all competitions after overcoming a disappointing start to their season.
But Lampard’s side beat City in West London after football’s post-lockdown restart during the summer, and the manager is confident his players can secure a repeat result.
“I am confident in us as a team. I know when we play at Stamford Bridge then we can beat anybody,” he added.
“They are such a good possession based team and I know we will have to be at our best to win.”
Lampard insisted Chelsea should have won Monday’s game against Villa, which came on the back of a 3-1 humbling against Arsenal on Boxing Day.
And he said his players must learn the lessons of their last two results ahead of City’s visit.
“Arsenal was our worst performance of the season and we have to accept that sometimes that can happen,” the manager said.
“Villa had more energy, we had opportunities and should have won the game. We need to be quick and disciplined against City. I want to see a lot of speed in our game when we attack.”
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Sunday’s game is currently set to go ahead, after City’s trip to Everton last Monday was called off due to several positive coronavirus tests among Guardiola’s squad.
Kyle Walker and Gabriel Jesus are among those unavailable to face Chelsea.
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