Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has revealed that he will have to make a late call on whether N’Golo Kante, Willian and Antonio Rudiger will feature against Man Utd.
The Blues will open the new Premier League campaign against the Red Devils at Old Trafford on Sunday in the pick of the opening weekend fixtures.
Lampard will undoubtedly be hoping to get off to a winning start and build some early momentum as he hopes to shine as manager at Stamford Bridge, but he may well have to do so without a number of key players.
The 41-year-old provided an update at his press conference on Friday and revealed that Kante, Willian and Rudiger all face late fitness tests.
All three have struggled with injuries leading up to the new campaign, and so while on one hand Lampard will be desperate to have them in the squad, he’ll also be wary about taking an unnecessary risk and seeing them suffer a setback if thrown back into the mix too soon.
As a result, it could be a huge boost for Man Utd and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer if their rivals are not at full strength, as they will similarly be feeling the pressure of having to make a positive start.
“Kante is fit. Is he match fit? It’s a question I’ll have to decide right up to the game,” Lampard told the media, as quoted by the Metro.
“Possibly Rudiger and Willian the same. They’ve been training but it might be too soon. That’s one for me to gauge right up until Sunday.”