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Chelsea boss Frank Lampard rules five players out of Valencia clash


Chelsea are set to face Valencia in the Champions League tomorrow night – but they will do so without a host of key players.

Frank Lampard registered his second win as Blues boss on Saturday, with Tammy Abraham’s hat-trick and Fikayo Tomori and Mason Mount goals sealing a 5-2 triumph away at Wolves.

Now Lampard is gearing up for his managerial debut in the Champions League up against Valencia, who were on the wrong end of a 5-2 defeat at Barcelona over the weekend.

But he has today ruled five men out of featuring against the Spanish outfit as his injury problems in west London continue to pile up and up.

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Reece James (left) and Callum Hudson-Odoi will not feature despite playing for the Blues’ Under-23 side on Friday

Ruben Loftus-Cheek is still not close to a return after rupturing his Achilles tendon in May, which is the same injury Callum Hudson-Odoi picked up a month earlier.

The latter’s injury didn’t prove as bad as first feared, though, and along with right-back Reece James – who damaged his ankle ligaments over the summer – he returned to competitive action in Chelsea Under-23’s 2-1 win over Brighton on Friday.

Lampard has also been dealt a blow in the form of N’Golo Kante, who has missed the Blues’ last three outings with an ankle injury, while Emerson hobbled off on international duty for Italy last week.

And just as the Chelsea manager thought his fortunes were changing, Antonio Rudiger came off at half-time at Wolves on Saturday in his first appearance for five months with a groin problem.

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Antonio Rudiger (left) only returned from a five-month spell on the sidelines at Wolves, but the German came off injured at half-time and will not be available against Valencia

“Toni’s injured. He’s bothered a small groin problem that he’s been carrying for the last couple of weeks at the weekend,” Lampard said at his pre-match press conference today.

“So he’s out. We’ll have a scan later today and see where he’s at. Hopefully not long term.

“And the other three you mentioned [Hudson-Odoi, Kante and James] are all fit but not match-fit still.

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Lampard has also ruled N’Golo Kante (left) and Emerson out of contention

“So Callum [is] getting extra work in along with Reece. They played in the 23s, they may have another game in the 23s in them before they’re ready for first-team action.

“N’Golo similarly. Not to play 23s, but he’ll have more training to do just because the injury’s been bothering him a bit.”

When asked if Emerson is fit to play, Lampard replied: “No. No, not for Tuesday.”



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