Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has confirmed that N’Golo Kante, Pedro and Antonio Rudiger won’t play any role during Saturday’s Premier League encounter against Sheffield United at Stamford Bridge.
Kante has been struggling with an ankle sprain over the past few weeks and he was joined by Pedro in the treatment room last weekend after he sustained a hamstring injury in the warm-up before the Norwich City clash.
Rudiger, on the other hand, has been training alongside his Blues teammates since August 8 but the German has yet to earn any first-team action under Lampard, who has been cautious following the defender’s return from a long-term knee injury.
Speaking ahead of the Sheffield game, Lampard has confirmed that both Kante and Pedro are unfit for the contest and he remains hopeful that they can make a comeback following the first international break of the campaign.
“N’Golo Kante is not fit. It’s a continuation of his ankle problem. He won’t be travelling with the French squad either. Pedro is not fit. Hopefully he should be fit the other side of the international break as well,” he was quoted as saying on Chelsea’s official website.
Meanwhile, Rudiger has been regularly participating for the development side over the past few weeks and Lampard has indicated that the German will go through the same routine for one more game before returning to regular first-team football following the international break.
“Rudiger is going to play for the Under-23s tonight, hopefully for the final time in terms of getting proper match fitness. Then he is in serious contention to play after the break,” he added.
Lampard’s side have endured a mixed beginning to the season and they have managed just one win from the opening three Premier League games while succumbing to a European Super Cup defeat at the hands of Liverpool.
Still, there should be plenty of confidence within the squad after the 3-2 triumph at Norwich City last weekend and Lampard will expect a solid victory over the Blades on Saturday. Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham have been the only league scorers for the Blues with two goals apiece and they should be the main players to watch for.
Apart from Kante, Pedro and Rudiger, Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Achilles), Callum Hudson-Odoi (Fitness) and Reece James (Ankle) are the other high-profile Chelsea players, who are expected to miss the upcoming Premier League clash.