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Frank Lampard provides positive Kai Havertz fitness update ahead of Rennes clash

Frank Lampard is hopeful that Chelsea midfielder Kai Havertz will travel to France for their Champions League clash against Rennes on Tuesday.

Havertz has been out after he tested positive for coronavirus earlier this month prior to the home win against Rennes. 

He returned to individual training this week and has been building up his fitness following a short period on the sidelines. 

But Lampard is hoping to have the 21-year-old available for their trip to France and that he’s available to get some minutes.

“I hope he is available [for Rennes]. He’s been in for a few days now doing some individual work and he’s looked pretty good,” said Lampard. 

“Kai is a naturally fit boy so I hope to have him travelling with us to Rennes and maybe he’ll get some minutes. I’m not sure exactly how many because it was a two-week isolation but he looks in good shape.” 

On any further injury news ahead of Tuesday’s clash, Lampard added that he will closely monitor the rest of the squad before making any selection decisions.

“I’ll make a decision whether to make changes or not depending on how the recovery looks. We have people like Ben Chilwell, who has had a back problem, and players who played a lot of international minutes so we’ll have to see how they are.”

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Lampard has full faith in Kante after questions of Chelsea midfielder’s form, fitness and future

The Blues boss saw the World Cup winner put in another impressive performance against Newcastle, with the Frenchman thriving after shaking off knocks

Frank Lampard claims to have “so much faith” in N’Golo Kante after seeing the Chelsea midfielder face questions of his form, fitness and future.

The France international has two Premier League titles and a World Cup winners’ medal to his name, but has seen a move away from Stamford Bridge mooted.

Speculation was first sparked when Maurizio Sarri took to shifting the 29-year-old out of his favoured holding role.

Lampard has also used Kante in a more advanced position during his reign in west London, but has seen him shine of late in the berth that made him a household name.

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Another eye-catching showing sweeping up in front of the Blues’ back four was put in against Newcastle on Saturday, in a 2-0 win for Chelsea, with confidence restored to all concerned.

Lampard told reporters on the influence Kante can have when performing at the peak of his powers: “I know what you mean by quietly influential but he’s much more than that for us.

“Last year he missed 50 per cent of the games with injuries, he had a tough time for different reasons and we are working very hard on that to get him fit and fresh.

“Now we are managing his training and game time, but his levels of performances are really high.

“I keep saying every time I get asked about N’Golo that I have so much faith in him and the top midfield player that he is in world football.

“Not just breaking up and winning balls back, as we know that is a huge quality of his, but his passing and supporting in midfield and playing in that deeper role now has been a very comfortable transition for him. Really, really happy with him.”

Lampard added when asked if he considers Kante to be over the injury issues that have been holding him back: “I don’t want to tempt fate as at the minute he is going well. It’s a constant one for us where we are managing it.

“When I came in at the start of last season he had been injured from the Europa League final and that just rolled on through the year so we just chased it down from there. That was unfortunate and so unfortunate for us to lose him for 50 per cent of the games because of the level of player he is.

“We have had a better period of him to get him in a place where we are really happy with.

“We’re aware and we keep check on his training and numbers and how much distance he travels because every time you train and allow him off the leash in training he makes ridiculous output because of the way he plays.

“We are very careful with that and at the

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Christian Pulisic sends message to Frank Lampard over his fitness ahead of Man Utd clash

Christian Pulisic is working his way back to full fitness following a serious hamstring injury (Picture: Getty)

Christian Pulisic insists he is back to full fitness and ready to play a full 90 minutes having recovered from the hamstring strain which ruled him out of the opening weeks of the new season.

The America international enjoyed an eye-catching first season in English football and emerged as a key component of Frank Lampard’s new-look side before he was forced off during the FA Cup final against Arsenal.

Lampard embarked on a major summer spending spree, recruiting the likes of Kai Havertz, Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech to reinforce Chelsea’s already formidable looking forward line.

Pulisic made his comeback as a late substitute during a 4-0 win over Crystal Palace earlier this month and got further minutes under his belt against Southampton last weekend, while he was taken off late on during last night’s Champions League stalemate against Sevilla.

Chelsea travel to Old Trafford this weekend looking to kick-start their Premier League season having won just two of their opening five fixtures and Pulisic believes he is now ready to offer his manager a boost and go the whole distance.

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‘Fitness-wise I feel great, I’m getting back to where I was, I feel strong, I feel like I can play 90 minutes,’ he said. ‘So yeah, I’m happy. ‘

After some noteworthy defensive lapses in recent weeks, Pulisic was pleased to see his side record a rare clean sheet, particularly against such difficult opponents, but admits his team must strike a balance if they are to achieve a positive result on Saturday.

He added: ‘It was definitely a tough game, it was definitely kind of one of those where there were not a lot of chances in the game. We did a lot of good defending and we can walk away proud with a point today.

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‘It’s a strong team absolutely, they definitely put us to the test, moved the ball really well we definitely defended a lot today and we are going to continue to work to improve as a team.

‘It’s everyone’s job to be behind the ball at times we have to help out defensively and I think it will give us some confidence today going away from the game with a clean sheet is not all bad. I think it’s not bad for the guys.

‘That’s the goal we’ve got to find the balance. Obviously we’ve got to create more chances and I want to help with that. We’ve got to find a way to do both.’

MORE: Joe Cole convinced Chelsea trio will make huge difference for Frank Lampard after Sevilla draw

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