Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has revealed that midfielder N’Golo Kante could make an injury comeback against Lille in the Champions League after missing the weekend’s Premier League win over Brighton & Hove Albion with a hamstring concern.
The Frenchman only recently returned from an ankle problem to feature against Liverpool and he was widely anticipated to make the starting XI on Saturday. However, the midfielder was not included in the matchday squad due to a minor hamstring niggle but it appears that he could make his comeback for the European trip to Lille.
Speaking after the 2-0 triumph over Brighton, Lampard said: “He’s had a difficult pre-season – difficult for us but mainly for him – to get going, because of the break up of his pre-season with the injury he carried over from last year. So I wasn’t going to risk it today. He’s got a chance for Lille.”
In the absence of Kante, the Blues did not have any concerns against Brighton as they dominated the proceedings for most of the game. In the first half, there were a number of clear-cut chances squandered but that was made up after the interval with Jorginho and Willian registering their names on the scoresheet.
With the victory, the west London giants have temporarily moved up to the sixth position on the Premier League table and they are currently within goal difference off the top four, which should be regarded as the minimum objective for the season.
Up next, Lampard’s side have an away Champions League group stage game against Lille and they need to come up with a positive result on the back of the 1-0 home defeat to Valencia earlier this month. Kante’s presence in the starting XI will no doubt boost the chances of coming up with maximum points.