Chelsea began their Premier League campaign away to Brighton and Hove Albion on Monday night and there are some positives for Frank Lampard with Kai Havertz in line to make his Chelsea debut as well as Christan Pulisic also available to don his number 10 jersey after recovering from a hamstring injury.
Pulisic’s availability is a big boost after the American International tore his hamstring in FA cup defeat to Arsenal at beginning of August. Although he was feared to miss a fare shot of opening games of the 2020/21 season, Pulisic has recovered and is fit to start against Brighton.
Skipper Cesar Azpilicueta, who was also recovering from his hamstring injury suffered in the defeat to Arsenal, will also be available to start at the southern coast.
“They are in contention for Monday,” Lampard said of Pulisic and Azpiliueta. “The way they are training and attitude they have looks like they are over their injuries. We’ll have to manage it.”
Summer signing Hakim Ziyech injured his knee in Chelsea’s free season outing against Brighton last week and could be absent for a prolonged spell.
Thiago Silva won’t be training until the weekend and is unlikely to be involved and will accompany Ben Chilwell, who is showing progress in recovery from foot injury.
“Hakim Ziyech took an injury to a knee against Brighton so won’t be fit. Hope it’s a matter of weeks, a couple of weeks but we have to see,” Lampard added. “Ben Chilwell is working towards fitness and improved this week, going in the right direction but won’t be ready for Brighton. Thiago is in London but not training with us until the weekend, so not in contention for Brighton game.”
Mateo Kovacic will serve his suspension for his second yellow in the Cup final, while Billy Gilmour continues his recovery from knee surgery.
“Billy will be out for a couple of months more, other than that we’re in decent shape,” Lampard added.