Chelsea boss Frank Lampard is still sweating over the fitness of Ben Chilwell and Reece James ahead of their crucial trip to Arsenal on Boxing Day, but Hakim Ziyech will not be involved.
James did not feature in the Blues’ 3-0 win over West Ham on Monday night, having sustained a knee injury during their 2-1 defeat away at Wolves last week.
The 21-year-old has had a scan on the problem and will now wait to see if he passes a late fitness test before Saturday’s crunch clash with the Gunners.
Chilwell started Monday’s victory against West Ham, only to hobble off injured early on after twisting his ankle in a challenge with Jarrod Bowen.
At his pre-match press conference, Lampard confirmed that both men are not only doubtful for this weekend’s trip to north London, but also for Monday’s showdown with Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge.
As for Ziyech, he has been absent since being taken off with a hamstring injury in Chelsea’s 3-1 win at home to Leeds at the start of December.
Yet while he has ruled out a return for the winger against Arsenal on Saturday, Lampard believes he will be back fit and firing in “the next week or so”.
“[Ziyech] won’t be fit for Arsenal, no,” he said.
“He had an injury on his knee at the start of the season and he’s just got another muscle injury.
“So you have to wait for it to recover. I wouldn’t say it’s a long-term concern. We hope to have him back in the next week or so.
“And hopefully he’ll offer what he was offering before, because he was offering great things and you miss that when it’s taken away – but that’s football.
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“That’s what happens when players are playing at a very high level every two or three days.”
Chelsea will be seeking revenge at Arsenal following their gut-wrenching defeat against Mikel Arteta's men in the FA Cup final last season.
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