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Chelsea will kick-off their Premier League campaign on Monday, September 14, when they make the trip to Brighton & Hove Albion. Ahead of the game, the Blues boss has faced the press and confirmed, new signings Hakim Ziyech and Ben Chilwell will miss the clash. He is not sure about Thiago Silva, while Billy Gilmour will also be absent.
“Ziyech took an injury against Brighton and he won’t be fit, we hope it will only be a couple of weeks. Chilwell won’t be fit. He has improved this week. Silva is in London but not training until the weekend, so I doubt in contention. We are pretty good apart from that. Gilmour is a long-term injury,” said Lampard.
The Blues boss has been asked whether he will be under huge pressure after making several signings in the summer transfer window.
“The pressure on me to do better should be standard. I don’t want to talk about statements. Last year we were very happy for Champions League places, we were very joined up in the business we wanted to do. The work starts now. It’s been a bit of a broken pre-season, but you have to work hard very quickly.
“I’m not interested in what other people say about that. We finished a lot of points behind and we have to close the gap and build confidence. I am not making predictions.”
Chelsea have been linked with a move for Rennes goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, however, Lampard refused to confirm rumours.
“It’s a situation I don’t want to draw on. He is a Rennes player,” he said.
Meanwhile, he doesn’t make it clear whether Fikayo Tomori or Michy Batshuayi will leave the club: “With Michy it is an ongoing situation, not confirmed yet. With Fikayo, no. I am not aware on any conversation yet.”
When asked about Premier League title chances, Lampard said: “I understand that and I hope Chelsea fans are excited because we have brought in high level of players. But I know what it takes to win the Premier League. City and Liverpool have run over a few years. I hope we will improve. We know expectations are there, but we want to improve and not get ahead of ourselves.”
The Blues will face Brighton during their opener, and about the game, Lampard said: “Of course we want to start well, but they are a good team. We have had a non-pre-season. It has been challenging, but we have to be ready.”
Lampard has also spoken out about Fikayo Tomori and Mason Mount.
“There is nothing specific I want him to improve, just to work hard and develop. I saw the story about Mount, I know it was fabricated by someone. It was a strange angle. I know that with the young players in the team and players come in then the players should and hopefully will raise their levels. I will pick the team on how they perform every week. Everyone should be positive.”
The Blues boss answered the question about Kai Havertz’s best position.
“He is flexible to play in every position. We can use the versatility. He is very happy to help the team, not asking to play in certain positions.”
At the end of the press conference, he added, that Cesar Azpilicueta and Christian Pulisic are fit.
“I am certainly very happy to have them both back. They have trained since yesterday and in contention for Monday. They seem over those injuries.”