30th October, 2018
Erstwhile Chelsea midfielder, Frank Lampard will be visiting his former club on Wednesday night, not as a player but as a coach. He will be coming with Derby County hoping to upstage the Blues in their quarter-finals clash of the Carabao Cup.
He is coming at a time when Chelsea are banging on the fitness level of some of their players.
The team’s Assistant first team coach, Gianfranco Zola has been speaking to the media at the pre-match press conference and he’s provided a full team news and injury update including the latest on Eden Hazard, Pedro, Olivier Giroud and Ethan Ampadu.
It will be recalled that Hazard was not available for Chelsea’s 4-0 win over Burnley at the weekend and last week’s Europa League victory over BATE Borisov as a result of a back injury that he sustained during the 2-2 draw with Manchester United.
According to the Assistant Coach, Eden Hazard is ‘much better’ and could be returning to training tomorrow but while the player isn’t expected to be risked against Derby in the League Cup tomorrow night, he could make his return to action against Crystal Palace at the weekend.
Chelsea could be having some more challenges in attack as Zola revealed that Pedro is facing a late fitness test on a stomach issue that forced the Spaniard off against Burnley on Sunday afternoon.
Aside from Pedro, there is also the issue concerning Olivier Giroud who is said to be struggling with fatigue and the French international will need to be assessed by the medical staff before his availability for the Derby game is determined.
It is however not all bad news as there was some positive news for Chelsea with Zola confirming that Ampadu has returned to training following a knee injury and a late decision will be made over his involvement in the Carabao Cup game.
Zola had the following to say further concerning the Eden Hazard issue:
‘He is certainly much better. I’m not sure today, maybe tomorrow he is going to join us in training. I don’t think he is going to be involved in the game tomorrow, but he is looking quite good for the weekend. We are pleased because he is such an important player for us.’
As far as the others are concerned, the Assistant Coach said:
‘There is Pedro, who has had a stomach ache. He came off Sunday. He was getting better but there is still a little problem so we don’t know. We are going to assess him tomorrow.
‘Also Olivier Giroud has a little fatigue problem with one of his legs. We are going to assess him tomorrow as well. Ampadu was back in training yesterday. Tomorrow we are going to decide whether he is going to be part of the team.’
Chelsea manager, Maurizio Sarri is very likely to make lots of changes to his starting eleven tomorrow night with the likes of Gary Cahill, Andreas Christensen, Emerson, Davide Zappacosta, Cesc Fabregas, Mateo Kovacic and Ruben Loftus-Cheek all pushing for selection.