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Last Updated: 06/07/20 2:42pm
N’Golo Kante has been ruled out of Chelsea’s game away to Crystal Palace on Tuesday with a hamstring injury suffered during the recent win over Watford.
Chelsea cruised to a 3-0 victory over the Hornets at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, but suffered a blow when Kante was forced off the field with just 12 minutes remaining.
Kante underwent a scan on Sunday, and Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard admits he could be without the France international for their trips to Palace and Sheffield United – both of which are live on Sky Sports.
“Kante won’t be in the squad – low-level hamstring injury. We’re hoping for a week or so [recovery time],” said Lampard ahead of the visit to Selhurst Park.
“I would expect we would be very lucky to have him for Sheffield United.”
Lampard quiet on Jorginho return
Lampard refused to say whether Kante’s absence for Chelsea’s game at Crystal Palace would lead to a recall for Jorginho, who has not made an appearance since football returned last month.
The Itay international was a regular for the Blues up until March, but his role as the deepest of Chelsea’s midfielders has been taken by Kante in their last four games.
While Lampard was keen to praise Jorginho’s attitude, he said: “I don’t want to go into personal details, or positional and tactical details of why I pick the team.
“I just have to pick the team as I see best. They’re just my choices.
“He’s been very professional about it. He wants to play, as every player does. One of the hardest parts of the job is telling a player they’re not playing, particularly when they train well – and Jorginho always trains well.
“It’s important players, during the course of a long season, are there to support players when they’re out – and he’s done that.”
‘Pulisic more direct than Hazard’
Christian Pulisic’s form since football’s return has provided a boost for Chelsea as they chase a spot in next season’s Champions League, with the USA winger scoring twice and winning two penalties in four league games.
Pulisic’s performances have led to inevitable comparisons with former Chelsea forward Eden Hazard, who joined Real Madrid last summer, but Lampard was reticent to compare the two following his side’s win over Watford.
However, Lampard was more willing to elaborate ahead of the Palace game, and believes there is even more to come from Pulisic.
Lampard said: “Having played with Eden and seen him come to the club at a relatively young age – similar to Christian – we saw the development of him.
“He had a special talent straight away, of being able to receive a ball, have great balance and go past players so well. He would draw a lot of players towards him to open up space for others – he was pretty unselfish in how he would make assists.
“Christian is possibly more direct, in terms of how he goes past players and runs off the ball – which I like. Eden would come and get the ball and take it past players a lot. With Christian, he has real ability to break a line and run forward, which is a really great trait in the modern game.
“In terms of the comparison, and why I stayed away from it a bit; Eden has been here and done it, to an incredible level. Christian has it in his hands to go and make a real impact over a period of time.
“The thing I’m so happy with now is that when we’re finding it hard to break teams down, he’s taking responsibility to change that by using his ability to turn quickly and go past people.
“It’s been great to see and there’s a lot of development still to come with Christian. I’m very happy with him.”