Frank Lampard gives N’Golo Kante injury update as Chelsea set for Champions League decider
N’Golo Kante could make his return from injury when Chelsea face Wolves on the final day of the Premier League season. The news is a massive boost for manager Frank Lampard as the Blues seek a point which would secure a top-four finish and Champions League qualification.
Kante has been sidelined since suffering a hamstring injury in the second half of Chelsea’s 3-0 win over Watford earlier this month.
The Frenchman has missed the Blues’ past five matches but is closing in on full fitness after Lampard confirmed he has stepped up his training regime.
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Chelsea will be desperate to have Kante back once again, particularly with his replacement Billy Gilmour out for several months after undergoing knee surgery.
Speaking about Kante ahead of this weekend’s clash with Wolves, Lampard said: “There is a possibility he will feature.
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“He has trained for the first time towards a match pace this morning, so it’s a decision I’ll have to make, talking with him and the medical team, to see if he’s ready to start.”
With Kante and Gilmour both on the treatment table, Jorginho has been recalled to the starting XI after finding opportunities initially limited following the end of lockdown.
Mateo Kovacic and Mason Mount appear to be Lampard’s two other preferred midfielders but Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are other options while right-back Reece James can also deputise in the holding role.
Chelsea are currently fourth in the Premier League, behind Manchester United on goal difference and a point ahead of Leicester.
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The Blues’ rivals play each other on the final day so Lampard knows a draw will be enough to secure Champions League qualification.
However, the 42-year-old has confirmed his side will be playing to win against Wolves instead of sitting back hoping the other result goes their way.
“We will approach the game to win it,” he said.
“There is no other way to approach a game of football. We will do that, prepare right, respect our opponent. They are very good, we have seen that all season, we are aware of the situation but we will try to win.
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“The goal was to get in the top four and improve this squad and try and develop and be as good as we can be. Now we have the opportunity of top four and it’s a huge game.
“I’ll approach it as I see right in terms of what I say to the players and how we set up on the day.
“I know how strongly I feel about this weekend and how up for it I am. I will try and convey that to the players, and the rest is down to them on the pitch.
“I have a real sense the players understand the position we’re in. I have seen that in our last two performances, and I expect more of the same on Sunday.”
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