Frank Lampard provides positive Kai Havertz fitness update ahead of Rennes clash

Frank Lampard is hopeful that Chelsea midfielder Kai Havertz will travel to France for their Champions League clash against Rennes on Tuesday.

Havertz has been out after he tested positive for coronavirus earlier this month prior to the home win against Rennes. 

He returned to individual training this week and has been building up his fitness following a short period on the sidelines. 

But Lampard is hoping to have the 21-year-old available for their trip to France and that he’s available to get some minutes.

“I hope he is available [for Rennes]. He’s been in for a few days now doing some individual work and he’s looked pretty good,” said Lampard. 

“Kai is a naturally fit boy so I hope to have him travelling with us to Rennes and maybe he’ll get some minutes. I’m not sure exactly how many because it was a two-week isolation but he looks in good shape.” 

On any further injury news ahead of Tuesday’s clash, Lampard added that he will closely monitor the rest of the squad before making any selection decisions.

“I’ll make a decision whether to make changes or not depending on how the recovery looks. We have people like Ben Chilwell, who has had a back problem, and players who played a lot of international minutes so we’ll have to see how they are.”


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Lack of Chelsea practice games delaying Hakim Ziyech return to fitness, says Frank Lampard

Hakim Ziyech’s return to full fitness has been delayed by Chelsea’s failure to get the winger involved in enough practice games, Frank Lampard has revealed.

The Morocco international has recovered from the knee injury that kept him out of the start of the season.

It has seen him come on as a substitute in the draws against Southampton and Sevilla – but the 27-year-old is still to regain full match fitness.

Lampard and Chelsea’s medical staff were so eager for Ziyech to get minutes on the pitch that they supported him joining up with Morocco during the international break, where he played 30-plus minutes against Senegal before being cleared to make his club debut.

Lampard has revealed how Covid-19 restrictions have impacted on his recovery time.

Christian Pulisic reacts to Chelsea’s draw against Sevilla

“It’s very difficult,” said the Chelsea manager. “We have a bubble at Cobham. We cannot play against the under 23s or bring over a lot of kids to replicate 11v11 games on big-sized pitches, which is generally where you would want someone to work when they’ve not played for six months off the back of an injury.

“So we miss that. We just have to do the best we can, train as well as we can, find the right way to give Hakim minutes and others in the squad because a few signings did come in with different issues, and try to do that as quickly as we can. It’s a big challenge.

“Hakim has confidence about him, his fitness is coming, he still needs time to get his actual match fitness.”

Lampard has praised Ziyech’s attitude since joining from Ajax – and his leadership qualities.

“When I look at squad always want to help grow the idea of leaders in the group,” he added. “Personalities within the group. Over the course of long, difficult seasons when we play so many games there will be moments when you really rely on them to help you in tough times.

“I don’t think you can get on in any elite team sport without people with personality and character in your team. I’ve seen that in Hakim and I’ve seen that in Mendy, as soon as they came through

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Christian Pulisic sends message to Frank Lampard over his fitness ahead of Man Utd clash

Christian Pulisic is working his way back to full fitness following a serious hamstring injury (Picture: Getty)

Christian Pulisic insists he is back to full fitness and ready to play a full 90 minutes having recovered from the hamstring strain which ruled him out of the opening weeks of the new season.

The America international enjoyed an eye-catching first season in English football and emerged as a key component of Frank Lampard’s new-look side before he was forced off during the FA Cup final against Arsenal.

Lampard embarked on a major summer spending spree, recruiting the likes of Kai Havertz, Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech to reinforce Chelsea’s already formidable looking forward line.

Pulisic made his comeback as a late substitute during a 4-0 win over Crystal Palace earlier this month and got further minutes under his belt against Southampton last weekend, while he was taken off late on during last night’s Champions League stalemate against Sevilla.

Chelsea travel to Old Trafford this weekend looking to kick-start their Premier League season having won just two of their opening five fixtures and Pulisic believes he is now ready to offer his manager a boost and go the whole distance.

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‘Fitness-wise I feel great, I’m getting back to where I was, I feel strong, I feel like I can play 90 minutes,’ he said. ‘So yeah, I’m happy. ‘

After some noteworthy defensive lapses in recent weeks, Pulisic was pleased to see his side record a rare clean sheet, particularly against such difficult opponents, but admits his team must strike a balance if they are to achieve a positive result on Saturday.

He added: ‘It was definitely a tough game, it was definitely kind of one of those where there were not a lot of chances in the game. We did a lot of good defending and we can walk away proud with a point today.

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‘It’s a strong team absolutely, they definitely put us to the test, moved the ball really well we definitely defended a lot today and we are going to continue to work to improve as a team.

‘It’s everyone’s job to be behind the ball at times we have to help out defensively and I think it will give us some confidence today going away from the game with a clean sheet is not all bad. I think it’s not bad for the guys.

‘That’s the goal we’ve got to find the balance. Obviously we’ve got to create more chances and I want to help with that. We’ve got to find a way to do both.’

MORE: Joe Cole convinced Chelsea trio will make huge difference for Frank Lampard after Sevilla draw

MORE: Frank Lampard reacts to Manchester United beating PSG ahead of Chelsea’s trip to Old Trafford

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