Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has provided a fitness update on three first-team players ahead of the Premier League curtain-raiser against Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Speaking in a press conference, Lampard confirmed that Kante has picked up his fitness following the recent return from a knee injury, but he has yet to make the decision over his involvement on Sunday.
“We have Kante fit, but if he’s match fit is a question I will have to decide right up until the end,” he was quoted as saying by the club’s official website.
Elsewhere, Rudiger has returned to normal training following a knee surgery and Lampard has said that the weekend’s game could come too soon for the defender as well as Willian, who has recently overcome a hamstring concern.
“Willian is working to be fit and it’s probably come slightly too soon for him. Possibly Rudiger the same, but he has been training with us for a few days now,” he added.
With the departure of the likes of Gary Cahill and David Luiz, Lampard will be working with a young central defensive partnership of Kurt Zouma and Andreas Christensen, who are expected to start against United.
The Blues were impressive with their attacking displays during the second half of the previous campaign, but there remains the need for improvement at the back with just one clean sheet from six friendly games this summer.
Chelsea have managed a decent return at Old Trafford with four draws from the previous six league meetings and it remains to be seen whether the manager goes with an attacking approach to tackle the Red Devils.
Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham are among the young graduates vying to make their maiden Premier League starts for the club this weekend after catching the eye of Lampard with their pre-season showing.